July 8, 2021 -- The single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine provides at least eight months of immunity to the coronavirus and shows “strong, persistent” protection against the delta variant, the company said in a news release.
The findings come from two small-sample preprint studies which have not been peer reviewed. The study on variants found the J&J vaccine “elicited neutralizing antibody activity against the Delta variant at an even higher level than” against the beta variant first found in South Africa, according to the July 1 news release.
As for the durability of the vaccine, the eight-month study period showed it “generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time," said Mathai Mammen, MD, of the J&J research and development department.
The study may help allay concerns about whether people who’ve gotten the J&J vaccine needed a booster shot to guard against the delta variant, which is now the dominant form of the coronavirus in the United States, according to new data from the CDC.
“We believe that our vaccine offers durable protection against COVID-19 and elicits neutralizing activity against the Delta variant. This adds to the robust body of clinical data supporting our single-shot vaccine’s ability to protect against multiple variants of concern,” Paul Stoffels, MD, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said in the company news release.
Up to now, there’s been little information about how this one-dose vaccine stands up to the delta variant.
Studies have shown that two doses of vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech provide much more protection against the variants than one dose of those vaccines.
The J&J vaccine has faced other questions since the federal government granted the vaccine emergency use authorization in February.
In April, use of the vaccine was paused after reports that a small number of people who got it developed blood clots. Federal health authorities lifted the pause, saying the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.
Production of the vaccine at a Baltimore plant was halted this spring when investigators learned 15 million doses were contaminated during production.