Corona/Omicron: Johnson booster against the variant

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A woman is vaccinated against the coronavirus with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. © Gregor Fischer/dpa

A study from South Africa comes to an astounding conclusion regarding the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with regard to omicrons.

Cape Town – Is this possibly another building block for combating the new corona variant Omikron? After all, nobody would have expected the preliminary results of a South African study. They indicate a high efficacy of a booster vaccination with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against severe diseases caused by omicron. J&J’s vector vaccine, which requires only one dose for immunization compared to vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer, Moderna or Astrazeneca, offers an 85 percent protection against hospitalization for omicron infection when given twice. This was announced by the South African Medical Research Council on Thursday.

Booster with Johnson & Johnson: High protection against omicron detected

For its study, the state panel compared 69,000 healthcare workers who received two doses of J&J with a group of unvaccinated people. The investigation took place between November 15 and December 20, i.e. at a time when the proportion of corona infections with the omicron variant in South Africa rose from 82 to 98 percent.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed by outside scientists, also provides indications of how the effect of the booster vaccination unfolds. Their effectiveness against hospitalization for omicron infection was 63 percent in the first two weeks after the second vaccine dose, but was as much as 85 percent one to two months after the booster.

Video: What should be considered when boosting

Johnson & Johnson keeps protective effect for a long time – good results thanks to cellular immune response?

The vector vaccine from the US company Johnson & Johnson is particularly interesting for the African continent because of its logistical advantages. The authors of the study commented that their results are significant as Africa increases its reliance on the J&J vaccine. J&J scientist Mathai Mammen said the study shows that the vaccine “remains strong and stable over time, even against circulating variants such as omicron and delta.”

Previous laboratory studies had found that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was less potent in stimulating the production of coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies against omicron than mRNA vaccines such as Biontech/Pfizer’s. The fact that the J&J vaccine seems to work better in the human body than previously assumed could be due to an increased reaction from another part of the human immune system, the so-called cellular immune response.

Corona: J&J boosters apparently work better than the third can of Biontech

A small study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston also indicates that a booster dose of the J&J vaccine after two doses of Biontech/Pfizer vaccine could provide more protection against severe Covid-19 disease than three Biontech/Pfizer doses. cans. After three doses of Biontech/Pfizer, the antibodies increased significantly, but decreased again within a few weeks.

After a J&J booster vaccination, however, the level of antibodies was significantly higher after four weeks, the study authors described. However, only 65 subjects were involved in the study. (md with AFP)

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