Johnson & Johnson‘s (JNJ) Covid shot is less effective against the Delta variant than the original strain, according to a paper published Tuesday. But JNJ stock remained unmoved in late action.
The study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting recipients of the Johnson & Johnson jab may need to receive a second dose for fuller protection — potentially one of the messenger RNA shots from Pfizer (PFE) or Moderna (MRNA).
But it contradicts recent testing by the drugmaker itself. Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson said its Covid shot offers protection for at least eight months. The company also says its vaccine produced antibodies against several variants, including Delta.
JNJ Stock: Vaccine Vs. Variants
The authors conclude the Johnson & Johnson shot generated “low neutralizing” antibodies when pitted against the Beta, Delta and Lambda variants. In comparison, the shots from Pfizer and Moderna led to “modest neutralization resistance” against those mutations.
“The data underscore the importance of surveillance for breakthrough infections that result in severe Covid-19 and suggest the benefit of second immunization following (immunization with the J&J shot) to increase protection against the variants,” the authors said.
The new study has yet to face a peer review. Preprint server BioRxiv published the study. Scientists relied on laboratory testing to make their conclusions, similar to many other tests pitting vaccines against Covid variants.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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