On Thursday, the company said that newly revealed preliminary results from a South African Phase 3b study showed that a homologues (i.e. the same vaccine) booster dose also reduced COVID-spurred hospitalization risk for healthcare workers amid the dominance of the Omicron variant. The study in question saw researchers collecting regional data from mid-November to mid-December.
Elsewhere, per Johnson & Johnson, a separate study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that a heterologous booster (i.e. a different vaccine than the initial dose) of the J&J vaccine gave individuals a 41-fold jump in antibody responses. Additionally, this particular regimen resulted in a five-fold jump in CD8+ T-cells. In short, the T-cell aspect is speculated by some in the health community to be a crucial aspect of the booster’s promising data on overall effectiveness.
In a statement shared Thursday, Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D.—who serves as Global Head of Janssen Research & Development—said the latest findings (data from which has now been submitted to a pre-print server “with anticipation of publication” in peer-reviewed journals) shows that the vaccine remains “strong and stable” against variants.
“We believe that the protection could be due to the robust T-cell responses induced by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine,” Mammen said. “Furthermore, these data suggest that Omicron is not affecting the T-cell responses generated by our vaccine.”
Over the past two weeks, as seen in Associated Press-cited data from Johns Hopkins University, new daily COVID-19 cases have more than doubled. Meanwhile, a New York Times COVID-19 database shows that the U.S. broke its daily record with more than 488,000 cases on Wednesday.
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