BREAKING NEWS: One-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is LESS EFFECTIVE against the Indian ‘Delta’ variant than Pfizer and Moderna shots, study suggests
- A new study looked at blood samples of patients who received the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the Indian ‘Delta’ variant
- Antibody levels in J&J patients were five to seven times lower when exposed to the Delta variant compared to three times lower in Pfizer and Modera patients
- This suggests the 13 million Americans who received J&J will need boosters to protect against variants
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the Indian ‘Delta’ coronavirus variant than other shots, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that antibody levels from people who received the one-dose vaccine were twice as low compared to those given the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
The findings add to the growing body of evidence that the 13 million Americans who received J&J will need boosters to protect against highly infectious variants.
It comes as Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee on Wednesday that the variant makes up 83 percent of all new cases.
The findings are yet another setback for J&J’s vaccine, which has plagued by pauses, ingredient mix-ups, federal health warnings and doses needing to be thrown out.
Antibody levels among people who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine were low against the Indian ‘Delta’ coronavirus variant. Pictured: Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines are seen on a table in Los Angeles, mAY 2021
‘The message that we wanted to give was not that people shouldn’t get the J.&J. vaccine, but we hope that in the future, it will be boosted with either another dose of J&J or a boost with Pfizer or Moderna,’ lead author Dr Nathaniel Landau, a virologist at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, told The New York Times.
For the study, which has not been peer-reviewed, researchers looked at blood samples from 27 patients.
Of the group, 17 people had been immunized with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 10 people with one dose of the J&J vaccine.
Researchers found that antibody levels in J&J patients were five to seven times lower when exposed to the Delta variant.
Comparatively, levels in Pfizer and Moderna patients were three-fold lower.
The findings are in line with a UK study, which found that the AstraZeneca vaccine – which is made with the same technology that the J&J vaccine uses – is 33 percent effective against symptomatic disease caused by Delta.
In real-world studies, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be more effective against the Delta variant.
A May analysis from Public Health England found two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 80 percent effective overall at preventing infection by the variant.
The vaccine was also 88 percent effective against symptomatic disease and 96 percent effective against hospitalization.
Meanwhile, a Canadian study found the Moderna vaccine was 72 percent effective against infection from the Delta variant.
There are few studies about how effective the vaccines are at preventing death, but a recent study from India – where the variant originated – found that only 0.4 percent of people who were vaccinated died from the virus.
Seema Kumar, a spokeswoman for J&J, told The Times that the data from the NYU study ‘do not speak to the full nature of immune protection.’
She added that company-sponsored studies show its vaccine ‘generated strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant.’
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.