TAMPA, Fla. — In recent weeks, there's been talk over an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine among health experts and people wondering what they need to stay protected against the virus. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson revealed new data it says supports boosting its single-shot COVID vaccine.
According to the CDC, about 14 million people are fully vaccinated in the US with the J&J COVID vaccine.
In anticipation of the potential need for boosters, Johnson & Johnson ran studies in people previously vaccinated with its single-shot vaccine.
The company says preliminary data shows a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine given six months after the initial one-dose shot created a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, which it says was nine times higher than 28 days after the initial single-dose vaccination.
“It’s good to know that the thing works like you expect it to work,” said Dr. Michael Teng, an associate professor at USF Health.
Last month, the company shared data showing neutralizing antibody responses from its single-shot vaccine were strong and stable through eight months after vaccination.
“I think it’s still a good option. Certainly, we’ve seen that the efficacy of the vaccine hasn’t gone down over the course of the pandemic,” said Teng. “It’s still very safe and very effective.”
Dr. Teng explains the idea of boosting after a period of time to make sure your immunity is up isn’t new. Also on the vaccine front, Pfizer announced on Wednesday it’s seeking FDA approval of a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 and up. The company says it plans to complete its submission by the end of this week.
If you haven’t rolled up your sleeve yet for the vaccine, Dr. Teng explains what you should remember.
“Depending on your particular demographic, you may choose to get one or the other, but in general, I think each person should be very confident that any of the vaccines are going to be effective,” said Teng.