August 2021

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Health Capsule

Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Against Variants

Vaccines against COVID-19 were developed early in the pandemic. But the virus has been changing. Now there are different versions, called variants, all over the world. Researchers found that the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine still protects against new variants.

In the study, 20 volunteers received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Researchers took blood samples about two months later.

The samples were tested for different cells and antibodies that can fight the disease. The team looked at whether these provided protection against the original virus. They also looked for protection against the alpha, beta, and gamma variants.

Overall, the vaccine offered strong protection against both the original virus and the variants. The team found lower amounts of neutralizing antibodies to the variants than to the original virus. These are a type of antibody that can block infections. But other immune responses were similar.

“These data show that this vaccine has strong protection against many of the COVID-19 variants in the world today,” says Dr. Dan Barouch from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

A follow-up study showed protection against other variants, including the delta variant. More research is still needed to better understand how the body fights off COVID-19.