Politics Johnson & Johnson says testing shows its booster shot generates spike in antibodies
COVID-19 boosters are coming but who will get them and when?
COVID-19 booster shots may be coming for at least some Americans but already the Biden administration is being forced to scale back expectations — illustrating just how much important science still has to be worked out. The initial plan was to offer Pfizer or Moderna boosters starting Sept. 20, contingent on authorization from U.S. regulators. But now administration officials acknowledge Moderna boosters probably won't be ready by then — theThe initial plan was to offer Pfizer or Moderna boosters starting Sept. 20, contingent on authorization from U.S. regulators.
Johnson & Johnson reported on Wednesday that receiving one of its booster shots creates a significant increase of coronavirus antibodies, one of the main defenses against infection.
J&J said that it conducted two studies showing that a booster shot of its vaccine created a higher increase of antibodies the second time around than after a 28-day period following the first dose being administered.
"New interim data from these studies demonstrate that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, nine-fold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination," the company as it seeks authorization for fully vaccinated individuals to get a second shot of their vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine booster guidance will come down to the wire to meet Biden's goal
As early as Sept. 20, vaccinated Americans could start to get booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Who will be eligible at first is still being decided.That leaves little reaction time for health care system administrators like Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, chief medical officer for Michigan-based Trinity Health, which operates 92 hospitals and 120 continuing care facilities in 22 states.
"Significant increases in binding antibody responses were observed in participants between ages 18 and 55, and in those 65 years and older who received a lower booster dose," the company continued.
Video: Johnson & Johnson says Covid booster shot produces strong immune response (NBC News)
Currently, the only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for a booster shot in individuals who are immunocompromised.
The Biden administration has also recommended that most Americans get a third shot of either of the two mRNA vaccines, though a larger recommendation would require another independent evaluation by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Biden’s Booster Plan Seen Facing CDC, FDA Resistance
Medical experts who advise U.S. regulators on vaccines are chafing at what they perceive as political interference in the review process by the Biden administration. © Bloomberg A Senior Living Facility Administers A Third Covid-19 Dose To Residents Last month, the White House announced plans to begin distributing Covid-19 booster shots to Americans Sept. 20. However, the effort still needs the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sign off.
J&J said in their press release that they were already speaking with the FDA, CDC, European Medicines Agency (EMA) and others regarding a possible booster.
"We have established that a single shot of our COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months. With these new data, we also see that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine," Mathai Mammen, global head of Janssen research & development for Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement. "We look forward to discussing with public health officials a potential strategy for our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination."
According to the CDC, more than 14 million people have received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, far fewer than the number that has received the Moderna and Pfizer two-shot vaccinations.
Evidence for vaccine booster shots isn't clear, as Biden moves ahead anyway .
After public school enrollment declined across the country last year, school districts like the one in Lansing, Michigan, are under pressure to get students enrolled and keep them engaged as budget questions loom. Photo: Bart Thomas