Local health officials react to J & J booster data, which claims to generate a nine-fold increase in antibodies

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(WETM) – Johnson & Johnson is the latest COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer recommending a booster shot. The company released data calling for a second dose, eight months after the original shot to boost immunity for its single-dose vaccine.

The study was done early in anticipation of the need for boosters, which the Biden Administration says are needed as early as September. Local health officials say the data is promising, but they are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration’s review before making any recommendations.

“It’s promising to see improvement in the immunity, especially in individuals who got the Johnson & Johnson. The protection is not as high in terms of percentages of preventing infection in comparison to the mRNA, so boosting the immunity is always helped helpful,” Dr. Justin Nistico, infectious disease specialist at Arnot Health, added.

The company is now in discussions with the FDA and other health authorities regarding booster shots. Neither of the cited studies mentioned the booster shot’s efficacy against the delta variant or on safety.

Rolling out these additional doses could come as soon as September, according to the White House. Here in the Southern Tier, Arnot Health says they have already identified people who want to receive another shot.

“We want to keep the immune system primed so that going into the future, we still see a reduction in cases and obviously we want to protect as many lives as possible,” Dr. Nistico continued.

He continued to say the rollout will be very similar to the first vaccine distribution process, but the focus right now remains on vaccinating as many residents with the first dose as possible.

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