After a new study revealed a reduction in its efficiency during the Delta variant surge, experts are encouraging patients who had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to obtain the booster dose as soon as possible.
On Friday, an FDA advisory committee unanimously backed the J&J booster’s emergency permission, despite concerns that the vaccine would be less effective than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations. All those who had the vaccine should obtain a booster two months later, according to officials.
J&J is an excellent vaccination. Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN, “I also believe it’s probably a two-shot vaccine.” “It’s critical that patients get that second shot as soon as possible.”
A new study that has yet to be peer-reviewed looked at 620,000 military veterans who received the J&J vaccine this year and discovered that effective protection dropped dramatically from 88 percent in March to barely 3% in August.
Vaccine protection declined for other vaccines as well, but not as substantially, according to the report, with Moderna’s dropping from 92 percent to 64 percent and Pfizer’s dropping from 91 percent to 50 percent within the same time period.
“I believe that everybody who has had one dosage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination can benefit from a second dose,” says the author. Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products.Offit noted that the J&J vaccine would have been a two-shot vaccine if it hadn’t been hurried for emergency approval.
The J&J vaccination has been given to over 15 million Americans, according to the CDC, with over 90% of them given in the last two months.
The FDA panel unanimously approved a half-dose Moderna booster shot for at-risk Americans who received their second vaccine shot at least six months ago on Thursday. People 65 and older, as well as adults 18 and up, who may have additional health concerns, jobs, or living situations that place them at higher risk of infection, would be considered “at-risk.”
Last month, the FDA approved a Pfizer booster for the same at-risk groups that the panel found needed the Moderna booster.