Johnson & Johnson Says COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Strong Promise Against Delta Variant

Johnson & Johnson said late Thursday that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine showed strong promise against the Delta variant and other emerging strains and also provided durable protection against the infection more broadly.

Data showed that the durability of immune response for recipients of its vaccine lasted at least eight months, the healthcare company said, adding that its vaccine was 85 percent effective and could also help prevent hospitalization and death.

First identified in India, Delta is becoming the globally dominant variant of the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization.

“Current data for the eight months studied so far shows that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time,” Mathai Mammen, head of research & development at J&J’s drugs business, said in the statement.

A woman receives a dose of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at vaccination center in Chinatown, in Chicago, Illinois, US, April 6, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)
A woman receives a dose of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at vaccination center in Chinatown, in Chicago, Illinois, US, April 6, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)

Recipients of the vaccine produced strong neutralizing antibodies against all variants including the Delta, the US-based company said.

The Delta variant contributed to a surge in COVID-19 cases in India that resulted in the highest daily death tally in the world, and also prompted the UK to delay its reopening by one month in June.

J&J has submitted data as a preprint to the website bioRxiv ahead of peer review.

Other vaccine makers including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna Inc, and AstraZeneca Plc have previously said that their COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the fast-spreading Delta.

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