US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine “generated strong, persistent activity” against the rapidly spreading Delta variant, which was first identified in India, and other highly prevalent SARS-CoV-2 viral variants.
In addition, the data showed that the durability of the immune response lasted through at least eight months, the length of time evaluated to date, the company said, adding that its vaccine was 85 per cent effective and could also help prevent hospitalisation and death.
The vaccine was consistently effective across all regions studied globally, including in South Africa and Brazil, where there was a high prevalence of rapidly emerging Beta and Zeta (P.2) variants during the study period, it said.
“Current data for the eight months studied so far shows 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,” Mathai Mammen, head of research & development at J&J’s drugs business, said.
J&J has submitted data as a preprint to the website bioRxiv ahead of peer review.
The vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization in the United States on February 27 and Conditional Marketing Authorization by the European Commission on March 11. The World Health Organization issued Emergency Use Listing on March 12. Several countries around the world have also granted authorisation.
J&J on Tuesday said that it was in talks with the Indian government to explore ways to speed up delivery of the vaccine. The company also said that, as per a recent announcement by the Indian drug regulator, there is no longer a need to conduct bridging clinical trials of the vaccines in the country.