November 30, 2021

Data shows a second J&J booster shot increases antibody response

Doctors answer questions about new data suggesting a COVID-19 booster shot from J&J released gives an increased antibody response.

DENVER — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is learning that the second dose of its single-dose vaccine increases the antibody response.

Dr. Thomas Campbell is the Chief Clinical Research Officer at UCHealth answered questions about the new findings.

What does J&J say about the new findings?

“When they were given a second dose of the same vaccine they had a nine-fold increase that’s a 900% increase in antibody levels,” Dr. Campbell said.

That was 28 days after the first dose. Another 2,000 in the trial got a second-dose six months after the first dose. Both show a higher level of antibody response.

“We think this is a measure of increased protection,” Dr. Campbell said.

But is there data to prove it?

“There are data that indicate that antibody levels particularly what we call neutralizing antibody levels and that’s the specific antibodies that prevent the virus from infecting cells in the laboratory,” Dr. Campbelll said.

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Why are the increasing levels of antibodies so important?

“The delta variant needs higher levels of antibody from the vaccine in order to neutralize it in the laboratory. That’s why with the spread of delta and with delta fueling the current surge not only here in Colorado, but throughout the country, that’s an important reason why we’re paying attention to these antibody levels,” Dr. Campbell said.

If you’ve already gotten your first dose of J&J, Dr. Campbell said this doesn’t mean you need to get a booster shot now. The Food and Drug Administration still needs to review the data and provide a recommendation.