JNJ COVID-19 vaccine and risks from delta variant: experts are already taking booster shots
Jun. 26, 2021 9:06 PM ETJohnson & Johnson (JNJ)JNJ, PFE, MRNA, BNTXBy: Dulan Lokuwithana, SA News Editor162 Comments
- Given the increasing prevalence of the highly transmissible delta variant, some infectious disease experts who received the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) have obtained messenger-RNA-based vaccines as boosters, Reuters reports.
- While JNJ said it was running lab-based tests to determine if the immune response from the vaccine could neutralize the delta variant first detected in India, the data are not yet available.
- "There's no doubt that the people who receive the J&J vaccine are less protected against disease," than those who received the two-dose regimen of other vaccines, noted Dr. Michael Lin, a professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University.
- "From the principle of taking easy steps to prevent really bad outcomes, this is really a no brainer."
- In countries like Canada, those who received AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as the first dose are allowed to use the mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)/ BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) or Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) as the second dose. Both Astra and JNJ vaccines are vector-based COVID-19 shots.
- Meanwhile, vaccine expert, Dr. Peter Hotez from Baylor College of Medicine said an extra mRNA-based shot or another JNJ dose might offer broader protection against variants in those who received the JNJ vaccine, "but we need data and CDC-FDA guidance."
- "While the situation has gotten so much better in the U.S., the Delta variant that's spreading ... and really quickly taking over in the U.S. looks a little more concerning in terms of the breakthrough infections with the single-dose vaccines," Jason Gallagher, an infectious diseases expert at School of Pharmacy of Temple University.
- After receiving JNJ shot in a clinical trial in November, Gallagher recently obtained a Pfizer dose.
- Currently, there is not enough data to support the need for booster COVID-19 shots for the general population, an expert panel from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week.