Johnson & Johnson says its vaccine works against Delta variant
Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine is effective against the highly-contagious Delta variant and provides durable protection against infection overall, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The jab produces strong neutralizing antibodies over the course of at least eight months against all variants, including Delta. J&J's shot is approved in several countries and expected to get the nod in India soon.
Shot effective against original strain, Beta, Gamma variants
The shot neutralized the Delta variant within 29 days of administering the single dose and protection improved over time, the company said. Further, the vaccine is also highly effective against the original coronavirus strain, the Beta, Gamma, Alpha, and Kappa variants, the statement added. "Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 85 percent effective against severe/critical disease and demonstrated protection against hospitalization and death."
Results will be published in online depository bioRxiv
These results were from two studies, J&J said. The company tested the blood samples of eight participants in its late-stage trial to assess neutralizing antibodies against Delta and other variants. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center also participated in the study. The results will now be published in bioRxiv, an online research depository, according to the company.
Will you need a booster shot?
The company also assured that there is no need for a booster shot at least for now. "We're extremely happy, actually, and confident there's no need for the booster at the moment and we're protected against different strains," said Johan Van Hoof, J&J's global head of infectious diseases. Even if a booster is required, "we don't think we'll need to change the formulation."
What is the Delta variant?
Delta, also known as B.1.617.2, is said to be the most infectious coronavirus variant identified yet. It was first detected in India last year and was behind the country's deadly second wave of the pandemic over the past few months. Some studies also suggest the variant may partially evade the antibodies generated by the body after prior infection or vaccination.
25% new US cases caused by the Delta variant
Delta has triggered fresh outbreaks in England and Australia and is now concerning health authorities in the United States. The strain now accounts for one in every four infections in the US and is soon expected to become the dominant variant there, according to estimates from the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pfizer, Moderna, COVAXIN also work against Delta
Several other vaccines have also shown high efficacy against the Delta variant. For instance, the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against symptomatic infection caused by the Delta variant, two weeks after the second dose. Moderna's vaccine has also been found effective against the strain. It was recently reported that COVAXIN, India's indigenous COVID-19 jab, also effectively neutralizes the Delta variant.