J&J booster slashes Omicron hospitalisations -S.African research study By Reuters

© Reuters. SUBMIT PICTURE: A vial, syringe, and little toy figures are seen in front of shown South Africa flag in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Wendell Roelf

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -A booster dosage of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) Inc’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 84% efficient at avoiding hospitalisation in South African health care employees who ended up being contaminated as the Omicron alternative spread, scientists stated on Thursday.

The real-world research study, which has actually not been peer-reviewed, was based upon a 2nd dosage of the J&J vaccine administered to 69,092 employees in between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20.

An preliminary course of shot has actually been revealed to provide just significantly decreased defense versus infection by Omicron, which is spreading out rapidly through lots of nations after very first being recognized in southern Africa and Hong Kong in late November.

However, a number of research studies have actually recommended that a booster dosage offers considerable defense versus extreme health problem from the variation.

The South African research study revealed the J&J vaccine’s efficiency at avoiding hospitalisation increased from 63% quickly after a booster was administered to 84% 2 week later on. Effectiveness reached 85% at one to 2 months post-boost.

“It reassures us that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be effective for the purpose they were designed, which is to protect people against severe disease and death,” stated Linda-Gail Bekker, the research study’s co-lead private investigator.

“This is yet another piece of evidence that we have not lost that impact even in the face of a very mutated variant.”

Bekker stated the jury was “still out” on the concern of additional boosters for the J&J vaccine, which is administered as a single shot for the very first complete dosage, and which is much easier to transfer to remote African backwoods than the competitor, two-dose Pfizer (NYSE:) mRNA vaccine due to much better heat tolerance.

“What we are showing is that two doses really restore full protection, and I don’t think we can extrapolate from this that we are going to need a third or a fourth boost at all.”

Researchers stated their analysis had a number of restrictions, consisting of brief follow-up times. Those balanced 8 days for health care employees who had actually gotten their increase within the previous 13 days, or 32 days for those enhanced 1-2 months previously.

In a business declaration, Mathai Mammen, international head at Janssen Research & Development, stated the company thought defense might be due to robust T-cell actions caused by the vaccine.

“Furthermore, these data suggest that Omicron is not affecting the T-cell responses generated by our vaccine,” he stated.

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