New data from Johnson & Johnson supports the need for booster shots

Coronavirus

FILE – In this April 8, 2021 file photo, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a pop up vaccination site in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the problem-plagued factory of contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions to resume production of COVID-19 vaccine bulk substance to resume, the company said Thursday, July 29. The Baltimore factory was shut down by the FDA in mid-April due to contamination problems that forced the company to trash the equivalent of tens of millions of doses of vaccine it was making under contract for Johnson & Johnson. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(WPRI) — Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday announced new data, which the company says supports the use of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose for people previously vaccinated with the single-dose shot.

New interim data from studies the vaccine maker conducted demonstrates a booster dose generated “a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies.”

The company says the booster dose was “nine-fold higher” compared to 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the company reported significant increases in antibody responses were observed in trial participants between ages 18 and 55, and in those 65 years and older who received a lower booster dose. These study summaries were submitted to medRxiv on Aug. 24.

Last month, J&J reported interim Phase 1/2a data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed antibody responses from the single-dose shot were “strong and stable through eight months after immunization.”

“We look forward to discussing with public health officials a potential strategy for our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, global head of Janssen Research & Development said.

J&J says it is now in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Medicines Agency, and other health authorities regarding boosting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The company says it also “continues to diligently generate and evaluate data from ongoing trials as well as emerging real-world evidence.”

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