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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Would Protect Against COVID-19 For More Than 8 Months

FILE PHOTO: A vial labelled “Johnson&Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine” is seen in this illustration picture taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientific institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies focused on the development of vaccines and treatments to stop the coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible. Different vaccines against COVID-19 that are safe and effective are already authorized to reduce the risk of complications and deaths if people are exposed to the virus. But more details about each are still being investigated. Now it was discovered that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Johnson & Johnson company and that requires only one dose can provide protection for at least 8 months. According to researchers from Argentina, this result could indicate that booster doses would not be necessary before one year after receiving the full vaccination schedule.

The data comes from an investigation carried out by researchers at Harvard University’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the United States with colleagues from the research center that the Johnson & Johnson company has in the Netherlands. The vaccine, whose technical name is Ad26.COV2.S, is made on the basis of a viral vector platform. Twenty people who had received the vaccine dose and 5 participants who received a placebo participated. The work was published in the magazine New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday, July 14.

“The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine study evaluated its duration, and its results are important in the context of the current pandemic situation.”, commented to Infobae the doctor William Dozen, professor of immunology at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the National University of La Plata and researcher at Conicet.

“Researchers show that protection with this single-dose vaccine can last at least 8 months. The data is interesting because implies that the other vaccines, which are with 2 doses, could last much longer and that booster doses would not be necessary at least before a year after completing the schedule”, Dr. Dozen pointed out.

FILE PHOTO: A box of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is seen at the Forem vaccination centre in Pamplona, Spain, April 22, 2021.  REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A box of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is seen at the Forem vaccination centre in Pamplona, Spain, April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

Researchers in the United States and the Netherlands also evaluated the protection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the variants of concern. “As has already been confirmed in all vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would also give less protection with the Beta variant. With the Delta variant, which now predominates in Europe and the United States, protection is not significantly reduced when the person is immunized with the single dose vaccine”, Remarked the researcher.

Scientists led by Dan Barouch also reported that the adenovirus that was used as a platform to develop the COVID-19 vaccine was also used in a vaccine for Zika. The researchers note that the Zika vaccine would also have protection that would last for more than 8 months.

For the researcher Jorge Geffner, Conicet and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires, the study results are “good news”. “The work refers centrally to two questions: how long does the antibody response last after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and how does the ability of these antibodies to neutralize variants of concern, including the South African and South African variants, vary over time. Manaus, which have shown a significant tendency to evade the protective action of the vaccines currently in use, “said Geffner when asked by Infobae.

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the opening of the MTA's public vaccination program at Grand Central Terminal train station in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the opening of the MTA’s public vaccination program at Grand Central Terminal train station in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

According to Geffner, the scientists “find that the neutralizing antibody response remains relatively constant over time, over 8 months. Even more interesting, find that ‘late’ antibodies have a greater capacity over ‘early’ antibodies to neutralize these two variants of concern “.

And he added: “It is a basic concept in immunology that the antibody response matures over time, in other words, the affinity of the antibodies produced increases. This maturation could explain the higher efficiency of ‘late’ antibodies in order to neutralize variants that show a tendency to escape the immune response. It is good news, surely extrapolated to the set of vaccines that we are currently using ”.

The vaccine is based on a human adenovirus that has been modified to contain the gene that makes the spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19. The body’s immune system responds to this protein to produce antibodies. The vaccine requires only one dose and does not need to be stored frozen.

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