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Syringes and a vial of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in French Polynesia on Sept. 8. Photo: Jerome Brouillet/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson said in a press release Tuesday a global study showed that the protection offered by its coronavirus vaccine was strengthened by a booster shot.

Why it matters: While J&J has not formally applied for authorization to offer booster shots to the general public, it said it has shared the results of the study with the Food and Drug Administration and plans to share it with the World Health Organization and other health regulators.

By the numbers: J&J said a second dose of its vaccine given 56 days after the first shot provided 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 100% protection against severe or critical infection.

  • J&J said the booster shots were 75% effective in protecting against symptomatic cases in all countries included in the study.
  • The company said the effectiveness of its vaccine did not fall over the duration of the study.

What they're saying: “It is critical to prioritize protecting as many people as possible against hospitalization and death given the continued spread of COVID-19 and rapidly emerging variants," Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

  • "A single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that is easy to use, distribute and administer that provides strong and long-lasting protection is crucial to vaccinating the global population,” Stoffels added.
  • “At the same time, we now have generated evidence that a booster shot further increases protection against COVID-19 and is expected to extend the duration of protection significantly.”

The big picture: An advisory panel for the FDA last week voted against Pfizer's application to offer booster doses of its vaccine to most adults before approving the shots for adults 65 and older, those at high risk of severe disease and those with high-risk occupations, like health care workers and teachers.

Go deeper: The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel Tuesday endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11. The final vote was 17 members in favor, with one member abstaining.

Why it matters: While not binding, the decision is a long-awaited step toward getting COVID vaccines in the arms of some of the youngest Americans potentially in time to get many fully vaccinated in advance of the holiday season.

Oct 26, 2021 - World

Moderna to sell African countries up to 110 million COVID vaccine doses

A nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine at the Oltepesi Dispensary in Kajiado, Kenya. Photo: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna announced Tuesday it agreed to sell up to 110 million COVID vaccine doses to African countries, saying it's prepared to deliver 15 million doses in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Why it matters: The additional doses will help African Union member nations that are lagging behind vaccination targets set by the World Health Organization because of vaccine shortages, though the sale comes after Moderna faced criticism for not doing enough to vaccinate the world.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Those who miss work without pay due to COVID also had food insecurity
  3. Politics: Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools — Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.