(WJW) — Results of two studies indicate Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 booster shot provides strong protection against the omicron variant.

Read Johnson & Johnson’s statement here

One study was conducted by the South African Medical Research Council and involved more than 69,000 healthcare workers from mid-November to mid-December.

According to a statement from Johnson & Johnson, two Johnson & Johnson shots reduced the risk of hospitalization from the variant by up to 85% during the trial.

When a booster shot was administered six to nine months after a primary single dose, vaccine effectiveness increased over time from 63% at 0-13 days, to 84% at 14-27 days and 85% at one to two months post-boost, according to the statement.

“Data from the (South Africa) study confirm that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shot provides 85 percent effectiveness against hospitalization in areas where Omicron is dominant. This adds to our growing body of evidence which shows that the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine remains strong and stable over time, including against circulating variants such as Omicron and Delta,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Johnson & Johnson, in the release. “We believe that the protection could be due to the robust T-cell responses induced by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, these data suggest that Omicron is not affecting the T-cell responses generated by our vaccine.”

In a second study, conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, research indicated using the Johnson & Johnson shot as a booster for those who received two initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine generated a 41-fold increase in neutralizing antibody responses.

Using the Pfizer shot as a booster, however, generated a 17-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies, according to the release.

That study involved an analysis of the blood of 65 vaccinated people.

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“As the omicron variant has mutated from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, there is a need to understand how effective currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines remain at protecting against severe disease,” said Dan Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC, in the release. “Our analysis shows that a booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated a robust increase in both neutralizing antibodies and T-cells to Omicron.”

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