New data indicates that a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine provides 100 percent protection against severe COVID-19, the company announced Tuesday.
Johnson & Johnson said that in a phase 3 trial, a booster shot of its vaccine given after two months provided 94 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in the United States, and it also provided 100 percent protection against severe COVID-19 "at least 14 days post-final vaccination." Antibody levels "rose to four to six times higher than observed after the single shot," the company said. The booster shot provided 75 percent protection globally.
"We now have generated evidence that a booster shot further increases protection against COVID-19 and is expected to extend the duration of protection significantly," Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said.
Johnson & Johnson also said that when a booster was given six months after the first shot, there was a 12-fold increase in antibodies. The data suggests that "if you wait longer and have boost at six months or later then you likely will have better boost," Beth Israel Deaconess' Center for Virology and Vaccine Research head Dr. Dan Barouch explained to CNN.
Johnson & Johnson said it has provided this data to the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory panel recently met to consider whether to authorize a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 to those over 16 in the United States, but they ultimately decided not to do so, instead recommending it for those over 65 or at high risk for severe COVID-19. The Biden administration had initially planned to administer COVID-19 booster shots to all adults beginning this week. Administration health officials said last month that "booster shots will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson" vaccine, and they said they would "keep the public informed with a timely plan" for administering these boosters once there was more data available.