Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of the Leiden vaccine maker Janssen, will ask the American authorities to approve a booster shot for people who have been vaccinated with the Dutch corona vaccine.
Insiders tell the American newspaper The New York Times that an application is expected early this week.
Earlier, Pfizer and Moderna also asked to approve an extra corona jab for Americans who have already been fully vaccinated with their vaccines. These booster shots are supposed to give people extra protection, although not all scientists are yet convinced of the added value of such an extra shot. In addition, critics have argued, among other things, that it is still unclear how great the long-term effects of a third vaccination are.
The US authorities emphasize that the three vaccines approved in the US are highly effective. Still, a recent study by the CDC health service shows that the Janssen vaccine scores worse than the other corona vaccines administered to Americans. The Janssen vaccine would protect against hospitalization in 71 percent of the cases, compared to 88 percent at Pfizer/BioNTech and 93 percent at Moderna.
Johnson & Johnson has argued that other studies show better results, but that hasn’t eased concerns about the vaccine in the US. Vaccine watchdog FDA had already scheduled an independent advisory committee meeting for October 15. That should consider whether a booster vaccine is necessary for people who have been vaccinated with the drug from the Dutch vaccine maker.
The newspaper says it is telling that that meeting was already scheduled before Johnson & Johnson had made an official application to approve a booster vaccine. It would show that the government is under pressure to regulate that Americans vaccinated with the drug are better protected. About 15 million people are currently vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine in the US, which only requires one shot.