According to studies, a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine provided a ninefold increase in antibodies when compared to the vaccine alone.
The studies, which were released by Johnson & Johnson, come as the United States prepares to offer a third dose to those who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next month.
According to the announcement from Johnson & Johnson, studies showed that a booster dose of its vaccine resulted in “a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, ninefold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination.” The company stated that it was collaborating with federal officials, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on next steps to improve the vaccine’s effectiveness and prepare for a possible booster shot.
The announcement came as CDC studies revealed that vaccines are less effective against delta and that there is a greater need for such booster shots, though vaccines were still important in preventing hospitalizations.
According to a CDC study released on Tuesday, vaccine protection may wane over time as the highly contagious delta variant spreads across the country. When delta became the dominant strain in the United States, vaccine effectiveness against infection fell from 91% to 66%.
A second CDC study discovered that a quarter of COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles between May and July were breakthrough cases, but hospitalizations were significantly lower for those who had been immunized. Unvaccinated people were more than 29 times more likely than vaccinated people to be hospitalized, and about five times more likely to be infected.
The full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration has triggered a flood of vaccination mandates across the United States, forcing millions of Americans to either get vaccinated or face serious consequences.
Following Monday’s action, the range of people covered by vaccine requirements now includes the United States military, New York City public school teachers and staffers, all New Jersey teachers and state employees, students at multiple university systems, corporate employees and pharmacists at CVS Health, and 30,000 unionized Disney World workers.
This adds to the millions of Americans for whom postponing COVID-19 vaccination could result in anything from having to be tested for the virus every week to losing their job or being barred from attending school.
According to news reports, the White House received a new classified intelligence report about the origins of the coronavirus on Tuesday, but it did not reach a firm conclusion about whether the virus originated in animals before transferring to humans or was released from a lab.
After officials couldn’t agree on a conclusion, Biden asked the intelligence community to step up efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19 in May.
The World Health Organization and China concluded in March that the virus escaped from a lab, a theory that emerged from a series of sources with circumstantial evidence, including repeated assertions from former President Donald Trump and his allies, but without citing specific evidence.
To stay on campus this fall during the pandemic, a few schools are charging unvaccinated students thousands of dollars in COVID-19 testing fees.
In addition, some schools are imposing additional sanctions: Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, announced that in addition to fining unvaccinated students, it would disable their access to campus Wi-Fi. Now, schools are starting to disenroll unvaccinated students.
The University of Virginia disenrolled 49 students last week for failing to comply with the school’s vaccine mandate. On Monday, the first day of classes, Xavier University of Louisiana, a private Catholic HBCU in New Orleans, confirmed that it had also begun disenrolling unvaccinated students.
Rowan University, a public university in Glassboro, New Jersey, announced Monday that with the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, students now have until September 7 to get their first shot. Students who cannot provide proof of vaccination or a valid declination form after that date risk having their “accounts put on hold, removal from residence halls (if applicable), and eventually, removal from the University.”