J&J COVID vaccine effective against Delta variant

pharmafile | July 2, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reported that its single-dose Covid-19 vaccine stimulated robust, continued neutralising antibody activity against the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, as well as other SARS-CoV-2 viral variants.

The announcement follows analysis of data taken from blood samples from a subset of subjects in the Phase III ENSEMBLE clinical trial.

Results show that the J&J one shot jab triggered a higher neutralising antibody activity against the Delta variant as compared to activity against the Beta (B.1.351) variant in South Africa, where increased efficacy against severe or critical COVID-19 was observed.

The vaccine was also found to be effective in all regions analysed worldwide, including in South Africa and Brazil, the regions where an increased incidence of Beta and Zeta (P.2) variants were seen during the study.

As per a sub-study of the J&J’s Phase I/IIa trial, the durability of humoral and cellular immune responses induced by the Covid-19 vaccine lasted for a minimum of eight months, the latest time point analysed so far.

In addition, T-cell responses, including CD8+ T-cells that detect and kill infected cells, continued during the evaluated duration of eight months.

Mathai Mammen, R&D global head at J&J, said: “Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralising antibody response that does not wane. Rather, we observe an improvement over time.

“In addition, we observe a persistent and particularly robust, durable cellular immune response.”

Moderna has also recently released efficacy data for its vaccine against the Delta variant, showing the jab to have a neutralising effect against all COVID-19 variants tested, including the Beta, Eta and Kappa variants.

However, the antibody response against the delta variant was about two times weaker than against the ancestral strain of the virus.

Kat Jenkins

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