Healthcare

Johnson & Johnson says booster provides 94 percent COVID-19 protection

Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday that the protection offered by its COVID-19 vaccine increased to 94 percent when a booster shot was given two months after the initial dose.

"Our large real-world evidence and Phase 3 studies confirm that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Additionally, our Phase 3 trial data further confirm protection against COVID-19-related death," Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development at Johnson & Johnson, said in the company's announcement.

According to the company's phase 3 study, a two-month booster shot resulted in 100 percent protection against severe cases of COVID-19 and 94 percent protection against symptomatic cases in the U.S.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is currently the only single-shot vaccine offered in the U.S., with vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer both administered in two doses.

The pharmaceutical company also reported that a study had found that a single shot of its coronavirus vaccine was 79 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infections and 81 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations. This efficacy rate is significantly higher than the 66 percent rate that was shared when the vaccine was first authorized for emergency use.

When a booster shot was administered six months after the initial dose, Johnson & Johnson reported a nine-fold increase in antibodies that grew to a 12-fold increase in the four weeks after the injection, regardless of age.

This announcement from Johnson & Johnson comes shortly after Pfizer's COVID-19 booster was recommended by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel for administration in people over the age of 65 and those in high-risk groups.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, the most recent to be approved for use, has been administered the least among the three vaccines being used in the U.S. Around 14.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the more 386 million doses that have been given overall.

Updated at 8:04 a.m.

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