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Does Johnson & Johnson stop the delta and lambda variants? What we know right now

A new study suggests the Johnson & Johnson might not stop the delta variant

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The Johnson & Johnson logo. A new study suggests the Johnson & Johnson might not stop the delta variant.

A Johnson & Johnson logo is pictured on the exterior of a first aid kit in Walpole, Mass., on Feb. 24, 2021. A new study suggests the Johnson & Johnson might not stop the delta variant.

Steven Senne, Associated Press

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine might not be very effective against the delta and lambda variants of the coronavirus, according to a new study released Tuesday.

  • The study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, according to The New York Times. It was, however, published by a group scientists who have no ties to the vaccine developers.

What the study found

  • The study primarily found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine might not protect patients from the delta and lambda variants — two mutations of the novel coronavirus that are known to be highly transmissible.
  • The data for the study came through blood samples in a lab, which means the findings might not be a reflection of what’s going on in the real world.
  • The study suggested people might need to receive a booster shot from one of the mRNA vaccines — like the ones from Pfizer and Moderna.

Do experts agree?

Nathaniel Landau, a virologist at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, who led the study, told The New York Times that the study was meant to send a message about booster shots.

  • “The message that we wanted to give was not that people shouldn’t get the J&J vaccine, but we hope that in the future, it will be boosted with either another dose of J&J or a boost with Pfizer or Moderna,” he said.

John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, told The New York Times that the study might be evidence that Johnson & Johnson needs its own booster shot.

  • “I have always thought, and often said, that the J&J vaccine is a two-dose vaccine,” he said.

When will there be booster shots?

Vaccine developer Pfizer has been pushing for a booster shot to get approved by health officials. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said Tuesday that there should be a COVID-19 booster shot sooner rather than later, according to the Deseret News.

  • “There are a number of us that would get in line to get a booster,” he said.
  • “How long is it going to take before we’re able to get sufficient information to allow Americans who want to get an additional vaccination to be able to do so? Are we talking weeks? Are we talking months?” Romney asked.

Does Johnson & Johnson have a booster?

Johnson & Johnson has not released any details of a booster shot.