NYU study says J&J vaccine less effective against delta variant, U of M virologist less concerned

A study out of New York University suggests the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective in fighting off the delta variant that’s causing problems around the country. But a University of Minnesota virologist said the findings aren’t as concerning to him.

It’s important to note these findings have not been peer-reviewed. The delta variant is dominating COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Some said the J&J vaccine comes with lingering doubt.

Daniel Han got the one-stop shot but is now having second thoughts.

"I’m kind of scared because I don’t know if my vaccine is going to be effective toward this new variant," Han said.

The new NYU study suggests the Johnson & Johnson vaccine puts up a weak fight against the delta variant compared to the original strain of the virus.

Louis Mansky, the director of the U of M’s Institute for Molecular Biology, explained the research shows the J&J vaccine still protects patients from hospitalization and death.

"Looking at that data doesn’t concern me at all that this would be a serious detriment to the general effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine," Mansky said.

He added that the study shows there’s a slight drop in J&J’s antibody response fighting off the delta variant but the vaccine is still doing its job.

"It’s not anything that should pose a serious threat to the effectiveness of that particular vaccine," Mansky said.

In the findings, researchers said millions of J&J patients may need a booster shot but Mansky said there’s no scientific evidence to support that at this time.

"There’s a lot of things that are possible but the way science works is that it’s a process where you collect data and the data is independently reviewed to confirm that people believe that it’s true," Mansky said.

The expert added that it’s natural for a virus to mutate, so we’ll likely continue to see more variants.

He said the big question scientists are working to find out is, "What’s the durability of the current vaccines?"