With reports of 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 every hour, concern is growing over the protection of some Americans vaccinated against the highly contagious delta variant.
A new lab study published online Tuesday has raised concerns that the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine may not be as robust in combating the disease of coronavirus variants, including the delta variant, as two-way mRNA injections. doses.
Since the start of the month, the United States has recorded an average of 10,000 to 40,000 new cases per day, according to data from NBC News. At least 13 million people in the United States have received the single dose of Johnson & Johnson – but experts say people shouldn’t be rushing to boost their Johnson & Johnson vaccinations with other vaccines.
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In the study, which was not peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine compared how well two doses of mRNA vaccines – from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – have withstood the variants compared. to the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In the lab experiment, the researchers compared a small number of blood samples from 10 people who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 17 people who had received the Pfizer or Moderna injections. The results suggest that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be less effective against some of the worrisome variants.
The study only looked at the antibody response in blood samples, the researchers said. Other crucial components of the immune response, such as T cells that can protect the body against the virus, have not been examined.
Earlier this month, researchers in South Africa reported on their actual data on healthcare workers who had received the single-dose vaccine. The research, which has yet to be published, has shown that, overall, more than 90 percent of breakthrough infections are mild.
Last week, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found in a lab that the antibody response of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine worked well against the delta variant and that the immune response lasted for eight months. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was reassuring to the millions of people who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In a statement released Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson replied that the new research does not show “the full nature of immune protection.”
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On Wednesday on “The Beat with Ari Melber” on MSNBC, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said lab samples from the new study showed lower levels of antibodies than single dose of Johnson & Johnson. compared to two-dose vaccines, but that it is important to wait for clinical data to determine the impact on people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and if they become ill.
“We do not have the clinical data which corresponds to a [vaccine] against each other, ”Fauci said. “What we have to do is wait for the clinical data. If the clinical data reflects the laboratory data, then you should re-evaluate. “
I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. What should I do?
“I wouldn’t be worried,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, infectious disease specialist and chair of the department of global health at Emory University in Atlanta. “If I start to see people hospitalized who have all received J&J, I think that will tell me something. At this point, I see no evidence that protection against J&J is less than with other vaccines.
A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that NYU’s research is only a study into the effectiveness of the vaccine. The agency’s position on recalls still stands: “Americans who have been fully immunized do not need a booster at this time.”
Will Covid-19 boosters be needed?
Fauci said during a Senate hearing on Covid’s response in the United States on Tuesday that studies are underway to determine whether boosters – third doses of the mRNA vaccines or second doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – will be needed to increase protection against variants or the possibility of decline of immunity.
“We don’t want people to believe that when you talk about boosters it means the vaccines aren’t working,” he said. “They are very effective.”
On Thursday, the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee will discuss booster shots, especially for people with weakened or compromised immune systems. These are the people who would be likely to be the first to receive booster shots when available.
Patrick martin contributed.