Johnson & Johnson may need booster shot against Delta variant

Infectious disease experts have begun weighing the need for Covid-19 booster shots for vaccines like the Johnson & Johnson jab, amidst fears that single-shot vaccines may be ineffective against the Delta variant.

Despite insufficient published research on mixing vaccines from different manufacturers, infectious disease experts are considering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines as boosters for those who have already received the Johnson & Johnson jab.

According to Reuters, some practitioners have already begun administering jabs from different manufacturers.

Johnson & Johnson has begun testing its vaccine’s efficacy against the new variant in laboratory studies but has not released any data.

Current UK research shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech proves 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant after the second shot, whereas AstraZeneca is 60% effective after receiving both shots.

Results from US trials suggest that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was substantially less effective against previous, more aggressive variants of Covid-19, with as little as 66% efficacy compared to the 95% of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

Further data from the UK has also shown that vaccine efficacy substantially increases after the second shot of a single vaccine, which was the case for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the AstraZeneca shots.

“There’s no doubt that the people who receive the J&J vaccine are less protected against disease,” Stanford professor Dr. Michael Lin told Reuters, “From the principle of taking easy steps to prevent really bad outcomes,” receiving a second shot regardless of manufacturer mixing “is a no brainer.”

The new Delta variant first found in India is causing global concern, and South Africa has been hard hit by it.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that the Delta variant is rapidly becoming dominant in the country, displacing the Beta variant that was first discovered in South Africa.

The South African government reported a total of 15,036 cases recorded nationwide on Sunday, representing a 26.9% positivity rate from the 55,920 tests conducted.

Gauteng has the highest cases by a massive margin, accounting for 66% of cases in the country.

With 122 more Covid-related deaths being reported this morning, South Africa’s death toll has risen to 59 900.

A total of 1,343 vaccinations were administered on Sunday.

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Johnson & Johnson may need booster shot against Delta variant