Utahns react to Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shot data

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are desperately searching for any news about a booster shot.

Wednesday, the company released new data indicating boosters are safe and effective.

Tiffany Steck says sought out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April.

“I had COVID back in March of 2020, and the vaccine was really easy for me. It was so simple the one shot and done definitely played into my decision to get it as well,” she says.

The busy mom says she was excited to see the latest news from the company.

Johnson & Johnson report its one-dose shot’s immunity lasts at least six to eight months, and a second shot boosts antibody levels nine-fold.

Dr. Eric Goldstein with the University of Utah Health says, “There is no downside to boosting people who are already vaccinated I would say, but the upside, the bang for the buck is reaching people who are not vaccinated yet at all.”

This comes doctors face full capacity ICUs. Dr. Goldstein says if you catch COVID-19, you are more than likely going to have the delta variant.

“Prior infection provides some protection from reinfection but if you were infected previously and you get vaccinated with either the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vaccines you’re protection looks like it, from an immunological standpoint, is pretty off the charts,” he adds.

Brian Jones also got the J and J vaccine in April. He says the new data is promising.

“Honestly, all of my friends got Pfizer, and they have been kind of making fun of me the last couple of weeks. It’s like if your J&J, you’re on your own. So, I’ve been looking for it to see if it is going to happen,” he says.

Intermountain Healthcare Medical Director of Preventive Medicine Tamara Sheffield tells ABC4, “As seen with other vaccines, we expect to see an increase in antibody response when a booster shot is given. Federal regulators will use this information to assist them in forming recommendations concerning the J&J vaccine which will guide vaccine providers at the local level. At this time we are encouraging individuals to become fully vaccinated with whichever COVID vaccine is available to them, and follow their medical provider’s guidance as booster doses are recommended. The combination of vaccination with masking, social distancing, and staying home when sick is our best defense against this disease.”

Johnson & Johnson is in talks with the FDA and CDC about offering a booster shot.
The company plans to roll a booster shot out 6-8 months after an initial dose.

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