Coronavirus: Johnson & Johnson says booster shot led to large spike in COVID-19 antibodies

Johnson & Johnson said researchers have found that a booster shot of the company’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine led to a large increase in antibodies, multiple news outlets are reporting.

>> Read more trending news

According to CNN and The Wall Street Journal, the drugmaker said Wednesday that booster shots were administered to some participants in Phase 2 trials about six months after they received their first dose.

“New interim data from these studies demonstrate that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, nine-fold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination,” J&J said in a news release Wednesday. “Significant increases in binding antibody responses were observed in participants between ages 18 and 55, and in those 65 years and older who received a lower booster dose. The study summaries were submitted to medRxiv on August 24.”

The company did not say how many participants in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, received booster shots. Clinical trial data released in February found that the jab was about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of the disease, according to The Associated Press.

Data published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine also “demonstrated neutralizing antibody responses generated by the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine were strong and stable through eight months after immunization,” the release said.

The news came one week after the White House called for a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA shot. The shots will be available beginning in September and are recommended eight months after people received their last vaccine doses. Federal officials have not yet made a decision about booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Earlier this month, Moderna said its vaccine is 93% effective for up to six months after a patient receives the second dose. Meanwhile, Pfizer said its vaccine’s efficacy dropped from 96% to 84% in six months, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, especially in Southern states such as Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the Times. As of Wednesday, the nation was averaging over 151,000 new cases per day – an increase of 28% in two weeks, the newspaper reported.

About 73.2% of American adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more here or here.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does