Second dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine increases effectiveness, talks of a booster shot

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — COVID-19 booster shots have started rolling out for many people who received the Pfizer vaccine, as well as for some who got the Moderna version.

But those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine question what this means for them.

Health officials say Americans can expect a decision on widespread booster shots at a later date. It’s also unclear whether it’s safe to give those people the Pfizer booster shot.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients or transplant recipients who received the Moderna vaccine are already eligible for booster shots.

A decision on a booster shot has not been made for the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however health officials are urging those people to get another dose of it.

New data shows a second shot of the J&J vaccine can increase its effectiveness to 94%, compared to the 70% protection with a single dose.

According to health officials say a single dose of the vaccine is still better than nothing.

“Overtime immunity tends to wane, and this is sort of a way of reminding the immune system that ‘this is what you’re fighting,'” said Dr. Robert Oliverio with Roper St. Francis.

Health officials say they are expecting to receive more data this Fall and will keep the public informed with a timely plan for a J&J booster shot.

They urge those who are not yet eligible to remain patient and trust the process.

“If you’re healthy and have been vaccinated you can sleep well knowing that you know, even if you do get Covid it’s going to be like a bad cold,” said Dr. Oliverio.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention less than a third of people who have received a booster shot have reported any side effects.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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