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Scientists moving closer to optimal COVID-19 vaccine dose

A child receiving a coronavirus vaccine. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A national study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID booster shots are far more effective than a Johnson & Johnson shot alone. 

News 8 spoke with Dr. Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics at the Regenstrief Institute and study co-author, who says these findings are critical as scientists move closer to finding the optimal dose of vaccine protection against COVID-19. 

“What we looked at in this study were people who only had the single dose during the omicron period–between December and February 2022–and we compared that single dose to people who had gotten the J&J shot, plus some kind of vaccine booster,” he said. “That could have been a second J&J, a booster from an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”

Dixon says those who had gotten three shots compared to just the one Johnson & Johnson shot fared better in terms of protection against the virus as measured by hospitalizations, and need for urgent care. 

The protection remained significantly more regardless of the combination series–meaning whether some patients received J&J first followed by a Pfizer or Moderna shot. 

Dixon says the takeaway is this:  Just because Johnson & Johnson was originally advertised as a one-and-done shot deal, things have changed.