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Covid vaccine neutralises Delta variant, lasts at least 8 months: J&J

Johnson & Johnson said late on Thursday that its Covid-19 vaccine showed strong promise against the Delta variant and other emerging strains and also provided durable protection against the infection more broadly. The US-based company said in a statement that recipients of its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine produced strong neutralising antibodies over the course of at least eight months against all variants including Delta, which was first seen in India and has been spreading around the world. The healthcare company added that its vaccine was 85 per cent effective and could also help prevent hospitalisation and death.

"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.

The Delta variant contributed to a surge in Covid-19 cases in India and also prompted the UK to delay its reopening by one month in June. The Delta variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the US in the coming weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings disclosed by J&J on Thursday were from two studies. The company has submitted data as a preprint to the website bioRxiv ahead of peer review. The company said that its Covid-19 vaccine shot neutralised the Delta variant within 29 days of a first dose and protection matured and improved over time. J&J evaluated the blood samples of eight participants in its late-stage clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine to assess neutralising antibodies produced against the Delta variant.

“We’re extremely happy, actually, and confident there’s no need for the booster at the moment and we’re protected against different strains,” said Johan Van Hoof, J&J’s global head of infectious diseases and vaccines, in an interview, according to Bloomberg.

Van Hoof said J&J doesn’t believe people given its Covid-19 vaccine should need a booster within a year of getting the jab. “And if a boost is needed we don’t think we’ll need to change the formulation,” he said.

Scientists and some vaccine manufacturers have been creating updated versions of their Covid-19 vaccines to directly target the emerging variants, which have been seen as significantly more transmissible than the original coronavirus that first emerged in China's Wuhan in 2019.

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 variant.


Courtesy: hindustantimes | 02.07.2021

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