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I got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which booster should I get?

As the Omicron variant shortly spreads, Individuals are getting booster photographs of COVID vaccines at a file tempo—final week, practically 7 million individuals got boosters. For most individuals, it’s their third shot. However for the smaller group of people that began with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s solely their second. Does that imply that J&J recipients are much less protected?

Not essentially, says Michael Lin, an affiliate professor of bioengineering and neurobiology at Stanford College who performs analysis on SARS-CoV-2 antiviral medicine and posted a helpful Twitter thread strolling J&J recipients by means of the information in a preprint NIH study. “The reply will depend on which boosters you’re evaluating,” he says. When it comes to peak antibodies, Johnson and Johnson plus Pfizer, he says, is pretty much as good as three doses of Pfizer. J&J plus Moderna additionally performs effectively. Somebody who will get two doses of J&J, on the different hand, is much less protected than a Pfizer or Moderna recipient who got a booster.

The NIH examine occurred earlier than the Omicron variant was recognized, so it nonetheless isn’t clear how mixtures of vaccines will reply to it in comparison with earlier variants. Johnson & Johnson can be at the moment finding out how effectively its vaccine protects in opposition to Omicron, however hasn’t but launched information. Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech, nevertheless, say that whereas two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine produce fewer antibodies in response to Omicron, a lab take a look at confirmed that three doses may neutralize the variant, an early signal that booster photographs may very well be very useful. Individuals who got J&J plus one among the mRNA vaccines could have related ranges of safety.

“I would say at the second, there’s no pressing fear,” Lin says. “In the event that they have been boosted by Pfizer, they have been boosted pretty just lately; for most individuals, in the final month or two. So their antibody ranges are nonetheless excessive. It’s nonetheless recent. It’s just like individuals who have been triple Pfizer. And we all know that that offers some safety in opposition to Omicron.”

It’s nonetheless too early to understand how lengthy that safety could final, and when one other booster could also be really helpful—or whether or not the subsequent shot could also be tailor-made to Omicron particularly, one thing that vaccine builders can do shortly and a course of that’s already underway now.

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