Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Shot Is Less Effective Against Delta Variant: Study

·2 min read

As the Delta variant rapidly spreads across the U.S., accounting for 83% of the country's cases, a new study showed that neutralizing titers induced by Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine decreased 5.4-fold against the Delta plus variant.

What Happened: In comparison, titers induced by Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) / BioNTech SE's (NASDAQ: BNTX) candidate decreased by 2.7-fold against the Delta plus variant, and levels dropped 3.3-fold for Moderna Inc's (NASDAQ: MRNA) candidate.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was based on tests conducted on blood samples drawn from people who have received the three vaccines approved for use in the U.S.

That conclusion differs from a statement J&J made earlier this month, in which it claimed the vaccine demonstrated "strong, persistent activity" against the Delta variant. 

J&J said the shot showed a durable immune response through at least eight months post-vaccination.

The distribution of J&J's vaccine was paused briefly in the U.S. earlier this year over concerns of rare but sometimes fatal blood clots. 

Why It Matters: The FDA and CDC lifted the pause in April after deciding the shot's benefits still outweigh the risks and updating fact sheets to include a risk of blood clots and low levels of platelets.

Earlier this month, the FDA issued a second warning for the vaccine, connecting the shot to an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The study's authors suggested that J&J recipients might require booster shots for better protection against the Delta variant.

Still, public health officials are not recommending boosters for any vaccines at this time.

Earlier today, JNJ announced Q2 earnings and expected .5 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales despite concerns regarding the shot's effectiveness against the delta variant.

Price Action: JNJ shares are up 0.15% at $168.70 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.

Photo by hakan german from Pixabay

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