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Big surprise: The J&J booster is so effective against Omikron

A study from South Africa comes to a startling result regarding the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Omikron.

Cape Town – Could this be another building block for combating the new Omikron corona variant? Because nobody would have expected the preliminary results of a South African study. They indicate a high effectiveness of a booster vaccination with the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson against serious diseases caused by Omikron. The vector vaccine from J&J, which, unlike the vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna or Astrazeneca, only requires one dose for immunization, offers 85 percent protection against hospitalization for an omicron infection when administered twice. The South African Medical Research Council announced on Thursday.

Booster with Johnson & Johnson: High protection against Omicron found

For its study, the state committee compared 69,000 members of the medical staff who had received two doses of J&J with a group of people who had not been vaccinated. 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 examined in a peer-review process by outside scientists, also provides information on how the effects of the booster vaccination unfold. Their effectiveness against hospitalization for an omicron infection was therefore 63 percent in the first two weeks after the second vaccination dose, but one to two months after the booster it was a full 85 percent.

Video: What to watch out for when boosting

Johnson & Johnson retains the 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 study authors commented accordingly that their results were significant because Africa is increasingly relying 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 like Omikron and Delta”.

Previous laboratory studies had found that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was less likely to stimulate the production of antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus against Omikron than mRNA vaccines like Biontech / Pfizer’s. The fact that the J&J vaccine apparently works better in the human body than assumed could be due to an increased reaction of another part of the human immune system, the so-called cellular immune response.

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

A small study by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston also indicates that a booster vaccination with the J&J vaccine after two vaccine doses from Biontech / Pfizer could offer more protection against severe Covid-19 diseases than three Biontech / Pfizer- 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 the 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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