Johnson & Johnson announced on Wednesday that fresh research shows that people who received its one-shot COVID-19 vaccination can increase their protection against the coronavirus with a booster dose six months later.
According to the firm, those who received the booster six months later had much more antibodies than those who received the initial dose just a month earlier.
Johnson & Johnson said the early-stage trials indicated the booster delivered a “rapid and robust” increase in spike-binding antibodies and appears to offer more protection if the effectiveness of the initial shot begins to wane over time.
Earlier this month, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans who received the vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna receive a booster eight months after the second dose.
More studies are being done on the existing vaccines to see how they perform over time and whether they offer adequate protection against known variants like the Delta coronavirus strain.
Johnson & Johnson submitted its new data to the journal medRxiv for publication and peer review.
“A booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, research and development head of Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen, said in a statement.
“We look forward to discussing with public health officials a potential strategy for our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination.”
Janssen produces the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the only one of the three authorized in the United States that is adenovirus-based and requires only one dose for full protection. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on messenger RNA, or mRNA.
The company said in its update on Wednesday that it will work with the CDC, Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and other health authorities regarding a booster protocol.
U.S. health officials said last week that Americans will start receiving Pfizer and Moderna boosters late next month.
Some American and international health officials, including the World Health Organization, have criticized the U.S. plan to begin offering boosters next month. They argue that poorer nations that are struggling to inoculate their people should receive help before the United States begins giving out extra doses.