July 2 (IndiaToday) – Johnson & Johnson has said its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine showed strong promise against the Delta variant and other emerging strains and also provided durable protection against the infection more broadly.
Data showed that the durability of immune response for recipients of its vaccine lasted at least eight months, the healthcare company said, adding that its vaccine was 85 per cent effective and could also help prevent hospitalisation and death.
First identified in India, Delta is becoming the globally dominant variant of the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization.
“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 in the statement.
Recipients of the vaccine produced strong neutralizing antibodies against all variants including the Delta, the US-based company said.
The Delta variant contributed to a surge in Covid-19 cases in India that resulted in the highest daily death tally in the world, and also prompted the UK to delay its reopening by one month in June.
J&J has submitted data as a preprint to the website bioRxiv ahead of peer review.
WHO ON DELTA VARIANT
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus will become the dominant variant globally in the coming months. The global health agency said the highly transmissible strain is now present in nearly 100 countries as per conservative estimates and might become dominant in few months.
In its Covid-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update as on June 29, the WHO said cases of the Delta variant have been reported in 96 countries and “though this is likely an underestimate as sequencing capacities needed to identify variants are limited”.
“A number of these countries are attributing surges in infections and hospitalisations to this variant,” the WHO said.
The WHO warned that the Delta variant is “expected to rapidly outcompete other variants”.
“Given the increase in transmissibility, the Delta variant is expected to rapidly outcompete other variants and become the dominant variant over the coming months,” the WHO said in its weekly report.