New data shows second dose of J&J jab boosts protection against Covid-19
- A booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine increases protection against Covid-19 to 94%
- The single-shot J&J jab still has strong and long-lasting protection against the virus
- However, the vaccine manufacturer has released new data showing the positive impact of a booster shot given after two months
- UCT public health specialist Prof Landon Myer says scientists around the world are still uncovering more about how to best use Covid-19 vaccines
New data has shown that a booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides 94% protection against symptomatic Covid-19 infection, compared to 70% protection with a single dose.
The drug company announced that two doses of the Jonhson & Johnson jab could offer efficacy levels similar to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
According to the company, taking a booster dose of the J&J jab 56 days after the single-shot vaccine gives 100% protection against severe disease.
While a single shot of the J&J vaccine provides strong and long-lasting protection, a booster shot "further increases protection against Covid-19 and is expected to extend the duration of protection significantly."
UCT public health specialist Professor Landon Myer says the new data that is emerging will help develop the scientific understanding of Covid-19 vaccines.
Once 80% of South Africa's population is vaccinated, health authorities may consider using J&J booster shots for high-risk groups such as healthcare workers and over-60s, the prof adds.
It certainly increases the levels of protection, particularly against severe disease. The 100% efficacy against mortality-related Covid-19 is a powerful data point.Professor Landon Myer, Director - School of Public Health & Family Medicine (UCT)
It suggests that the J&J efficacy doesn't wean after the first dose, but when you provide a second dose 56 days later, it's bumped up to these very high levels which are comparable to - and probably exceed in some regards - the Pfizer and Moderna level of efficacy and outcomes.Professor Landon Myer, Director - School of Public Health & Family Medicine (UCT)
As we learn more about boosting overtime, we will start to think... for high-risk groups...Professor Landon Myer, Director - School of Public Health & Family Medicine (UCT)
I think this kind of new information is good and positive. We are learning more about how best to use these vaccines. We're certainly refining and developing our understanding.Professor Landon Myer, Director - School of Public Health & Family Medicine (UCT)
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