All of this talk about Pfizer’s booster shot might make you miss the fact that Johnson & Johnson has a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, too, and it’s highly effective.

Does Johnson & Johnson have a COVID-19 booster shot?

Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that people who received their COVID-19 booster shots were better protected against COVID-19 over a longer period of time compared to those who only got one shot of its vaccine.

  • “Our large real-world-evidence and Phase 3 studies confirm that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Additionally, our Phase 3 trial data further confirms protection against COVID-19 related death,” said Mathai Mammen, global head of Janssen research and development for Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.
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How strong is Johnson & Johnson’s new shot?

Data show that one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be 66% protective against moderate and severe COVID-19 disease around the world (or about 72% effective in the U.S.), according to NPR.

  • However, those who received the Johnson & Johnson booster shot saw protection rise to 94%.
  • And the booster — offered six months after the first shot — increased antibodies 12-fold.

Does the FDA approve of COVID booster shots?

The new data will help Johnson & Johnson make an argument to the Food and Drug Administration that Johnson & Johnson patients need a COVID-19 booster, according to CNBC.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration rejected a plan to offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all Americans, despite the Biden administration wanting Americans to receive booster shots.

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  • The FDA committee of experts approved booster shots for older Americans (those over 65) and anyone who is at high risk for severe COVID-19, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • Neither Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were not mentioned during this meeting.

The FDA panel suggested that there’s not enough data showing the need for booster shots yet, according to The Associated Press.

  • “I don’t think a booster dose is going to significantly contribute to controlling the pandemic,” said Dr. Cody Meissner of Tufts University at the meeting, per The Associated Press. “And I think it’s important that the main message we transmit is that we’ve got to get everyone two doses.”