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J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Against Virus Variants

New research suggests that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against coronavirus variants.

Researchers at Harvard University who developed the one-shot vaccine found people from different parts of the world who received it were protected against severe disease regardless of the virus variant.

According to the Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Dan Barouch, he was pleased to see the vaccine was effective in the real world as it had been in animal studies.

“This is good news in terms of coverage of the variants, and it increases our optimism that the current vaccines, particularly this one, have good coverage of the variants that exist today. That’s more of a reason why everyone in the country and the world should get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

The findings, published Wednesday, June 9, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, come from a 25-person study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, which looked at immune responses to variants first discovered in Brazil, South Africa, Southern California, and the United Kingdom. Twenty people in the study received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five received a placebo, and their blood samples were analyzed 57 and 71 days after their shot.

Barouch said the data suggest these other immune responses could be a key reason why the one-shot vaccine has proven to be effective against variants.