“Come June, I started to get nervous about this Delta variant spreading and had some travel plans,” said Gallagher, a clinical professor at Temple University School of Pharmacy.
So, Gallagher decided to get a dose of a different mRNA vaccine, even though he was already considered fully protected with his single dose of the J&J vaccine.
Once word got around that he got an extra dose, he started hearing from many others who had done the same.
“My phone was kind of ringing off the hook for a week,” Gallagher said.
Right now, trying to boost your immune system with an additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine after a J&J shot is not recommended. The vaccine makers are studying whether that needs to change.
Gallagher is not the only scientist who is getting ahead of the guidance.
In a statement, Johnson and Johnson said, “We believe that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine will continue to offer durable protection, and at present there is no evidence to suggest a need for a booster dose to be administered.”
That study is a preprint, meaning it was not subject to careful peer review. It was done on blood from vaccinated volunteers, so it did not reflect real world conditions, but it showed that at least some of the newly emerging variants, including the Delta variant, may evade the protection offered by a single dose of the vaccine.
That protection, Dr. John Zaia, the director of the Center for Gene Therapy at City of Hope in California said, is demonstrated by the current data on hospitalizations. He does not recommend an additional dose.
“We have not yet seen anyone saying that hospitalized people in the United States are those that got the J&J vaccine. I think that tells us a lot,” Zaia said.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security does not recommend an additional dose either. He said the data doesn’t support the need for it….