Johnson & Johnson Says Their Booster Provides Huge Antibody Spike

by Erica Gerald Mason
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The findings, which have not been peer-reviewed, could change the way booster shots are doled out

As the Delta variant of COVID wreaks havoc on unvaccinated segments of the population, the nation braces itself for dark days ahead. Meanwhile, the scientific community has long maintained that it’s doing what it can to quickly learn about the virus. With media reports that a segment of thoroughly vaccinated people contracting the virus, some worry about the long-term efficacy against COVID.

In a bit of good news, Johnson & Johnson, one of the 3 major pharma companies authorized to dispense the vaccine in the U.S., has announced that a booster raises antibody levels 9-fold, ABC News reports.

To be specific, a company press release indicates that receiving a booster shot six months after a patient’s initial vaccination resulted in 9-fold more antibodies being produced.

ABC News also referenced a prior study that found people vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still had a durable immune response at least eight months later, even without receiving a booster.

America’s doctor, Sanjay Gupta, tweeted about the findings.

This could mean good news for those who are vaccinated.

The initial findings show a possible J&J booster “appears to be safe, and boosts immune responses substantially,” Dr. Dan Barouch, Ph.D., director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told ABC News.

“This data will likely be reviewed by federal health authorities in their discussions about recommending boosters,” Barouch said.

Professionals have long maintained that vaccine efficacy for all three vaccines declines over time. Even though the highly transmissible delta variant has been associated with a rise in mild breakthrough infections, vaccinations still seem to drastically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.

NBC News tweeted about the news, quoting J&J’s press release of the ‘rapid and robust’ response of patient’s antibodies following a second jab.

“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of Sept. 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, speaking at a press conference Wednesday.

Last week’s recommendation only included people who received the Pfizer or Moderna shots, At the time, Walensky said data on Johnson & Johnson could be expected “in the next few weeks” and that once reviewed, the CDC “will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J booster shots as well.”

The news comes as some vaccinated people express concern about venturing into close quarters with unvaccinated folks. One Twitter user posted her appreciation for organization that ask to see vaccination cards.

Although it has only been published in a press release and is not yet peer-reviewed, the new data will likely help shape the conversation about whether and when booster doses will be needed for those who got the Johnson & Johnson shot.