Johnson & Johnson's novel coronavirus vaccine triggers many types of immune responses, according to a new study. This allows it to be very protective in the United States as well as in Brazil and South Africa where a handful of various virus variants are circulating. Harvard University researchers who developed the one-dose vaccine found people from different parts of the globe who received it were protected against serious illness regardless of the virus variant.
The emergence of new and more infectious variants of COVID-19 has posed a concerning question: Will the current series of vaccines prevent such variants from causing illness? A study released on Wednesday in the journal "Nature" suggests the response is yes.
Protection Against Virus Variants
The study shows that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides protection against virus variants. Eliciting neutralizing antibodies and a T-cell response, the vaccine appeared to protect individuals from severe illness including in areas where the variants are prevalent, reported National Geographic.
Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, stated that he was glad to see the vaccine was as effectual in the real world as it had been in animal studies.
According to Barouch, "This is good news in terms of coverage of the variants, and it increases our optimism that the current vaccines, particularly this one, has good coverage of the variants that exist today." He added that is more of a reason why everyone in the nation and the globe should get inoculated as soon as possible, reported USA Today.
The research, published as an accelerated article preview, determined that the coronavirus vaccine activated immune responses against the original COVID-19 strain. It also protects against the Alpha, Beta, Epsilon, and Gamma variants. The study concluded that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided strong protection against asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in Brazil and South Africa where variants have resulted in sequenced cases, reported The Hill.
All 20 patients assessed produced neutralizing antibodies. They are believed to be essential for an effective immune response to the virus. However, they also produced other types of antibodies, including T cells, which are often called the immune system's soldiers.
The research was fairly straight to the point. Scientists took blood from volunteers who had been administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and evaluated the levels of neutralizing antibodies, the kind that prevents a virus from entering cells.
Researchers evaluated the cellular and antibody immune responses of 20 volunteers from 18 to 55 years of age.
The study determined that one dose of Johnson & Johnson protected against serious COVID-19 in 86 percent of participants in the United States, 88 percent of such in Brazil and 82 percent of such in South Africa.
Pfizer declared it has expanded its clinical trials among children under 12 years old. The clinical trials will enroll up to 4,500 children at over 90 sites in Finland, the United States, Poland, and Spain. They will include kids as young as six months.