- The National Institutes of Health study found that injecting J&J followed by one of the mRNA vaccines as a booster produced a stronger immune response than two doses of J&J.
- In response to the study, Johnson & Johnson noted that a booster of their vaccine increased the immune response, regardless of a person’s previous primary immunization.
- The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee meets on Thursday to discuss Moderna boosters and Friday to discuss J&J boosters.
The best booster for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, according to a National Institutes of Health study released Wednesday.
“The Mix and Match was a big study that people were waiting for, it gave a lot of new data, and there had never been any on Johnson & Johnson with an mRNA booster before,” said Dr Eric Topol , vice-president of research. at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., and a national expert on the use of data in medical research.
The study, which included nearly 500 people, found that the J&J vaccine followed by one of the mRNA vaccines as a booster produced a stronger immune response than two doses of J&J.
For people who received the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose series, a booster dose of either mRNA vaccine was effective.
The new study came just a day before a crucial Food and Drug Administration advisory committee began meeting to discuss possible booster doses of Moderna and J&J vaccines. Pfizer boosters were approved on September 24.
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Data from the NIH study will be presented to the FDA committee on Friday afternoon, after it is scheduled to vote on a possible J&J booster for people who have already received the same type of vaccine, according to the. Agenda of the meeting.
The study, by the Mix and Match team, was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. He compared all the possible combinations of the three vaccines followed by a booster.
“If you look at the Mix and Match data, you’re like, ‘Wow, I really want to get an mRNA booster. “It basically converts Johnson & Johnson to be as good as a two-shot series of mRNA,” Topol said.
The study volunteers were divided into three groups. One received the two-dose series of Pfizer vaccine, the other the two-dose series of Moderna and the other the J&J “one and done” vaccine.
Each group was then divided into three smaller groups. One has Pfizer as a booster, a Moderna and a J&J.
The participants’ antibody levels against COVID-19 were measured two weeks and then four weeks after receiving their booster injection.
People who got the Pfizer or Moderna series and Pfizer or Moderna as a booster all have similar protection.
The lowest antibody levels were in people who received an injection of J&J followed by a booster of J&J.
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In response to the study, Johnson & Johnson noted that a booster of their vaccine increased the immune response, regardless of a person’s previous primary immunization.
Johnson & Johnson will continue to share available amplification data with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies, and look forward to discussing the latest available data at the Vaccine Advisory Committee. and related biologics this week, the company said in a statement. Release.
The NIH study did not include actual data on the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters in preventing mild or severe COVID-19. However, the antibody response is considered to be a good indicator of the efficacy of the vaccine.
There is somewhat equivalent real world data in Spain and the UK. People who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is similar, or the J&J vaccine and then a Pfizer booster, had high levels of antibodies.
FDA committee meets Thursday and Friday on Moderna, J&J boosters
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee meets on Thursday to discuss Moderna boosters and Friday to discuss J&J boosters.
In backgrounders released Wednesday, only data from a small study of 17 people who received a booster shot of J&J six months after their first injection was presented.
J&J has a much larger study underway, but the data has not been passed on to the FDA, which is making the decision whether or not to authorize a recall. It is not clear whether the small pool of beneficiaries is sufficient for the agency to approve a six-month recall.
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“The hope was that we would get these issues resolved and J&J would get their emergency use clearance for a booster. Now things have gotten a little more complicated, ”said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
Safety data for people given a J&J booster was good, and according to the FDA the vaccine “still offers protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death”, although less than Pfizer mRNA-based vaccines -BioNTech and Moderna.
In its backgrounders, J&J said the boosters could be given between two and six months after the initial blow, depending on who received the blow and the strength of their immune response.
About 15 million Americans have been fully immunized with the J&J vaccine, compared with 103 million who received Pfizer and 69 million who received Moderna. So far, 8.8 million Americans have received a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.