Preliminary data show J&J vaccine could be effective against delta variant

Vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
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Preliminary data show that Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine could be effective against the delta variant (B.1.617.2) of the coronavirus.

The company said in a statement that its vaccine demonstrated a “strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other highly prevalent SARS-CoV-2 viral variants.”

The company added that the data showed the durability of the response lasted for at least eight months.

The data comes as the highly infectious delta variant, which was first detected in India, has become a cause for concern in the U.S.

Los Angeles County and the city of St. Louis, Mo., have recommended vaccinated residents wear masks indoors amid concerns of the spread the variant. The delta variant makes up for about 25 percent of infections in the U.S. 

The World Health Organization has also issued a similar advisory as the variant spreads.

Moderna said on Tuesday that is vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies after two doses against the delta and the beta variants in a lab study.

Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca have also been found to offer protection against hospitalization due to the variant in a study in the United Kingdom.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Wednesday that fully vaccinated people still do not need to wear masks in most situations.

Johnson & Johnson said Thursday in its statement that the data for the company’s vaccine came from two studies.

The first looked at an analysis of blood samples from a small group of eight participants in its large-scale phase three trial. That data showed the vaccine elicited “neutralizing antibody activity” against the delta variant “at an even higher level” than was observed against the beta variant first detected in South Africa.

Separate data from smaller study of about 20 people showed that the responses generated by the vaccine lasted through at least eight months.

J&J’s Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said in a statement that the data “reinforce the ability of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health of people globally.”

“This adds to the robust body of clinical data supporting our single-shot vaccine’s ability to protect against multiple variants of concern,” he said.

Tags Rochelle Walensky

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