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Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine provides immunity that lasts at least eight months and appears to offer protection against the Delta variant, the company said late Thursday.

Why it matters: The findings come as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads across the U.S., accounting for at least 25% of new COVID-19 cases in the country.

Driving the news: The studies driving the company's announcement are small, but researchers said they released the results early to quell concerns from the public over the vaccine's effectiveness, the New York Times reports.

  • "The coverage of the variants is going to be better than what people anticipated,” Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told the Times.
  • "There was a lot of misinformation that was spreading, so we decided that we needed to get this into the public domain right away," Barouch added.
  • The vaccine had a small drop in effectiveness against the highly contagious Delta variant, compared with its effectiveness against the original virus.

What they're saying: "Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time," Mathai Mammen, head of research and development for J&J's vaccine team, said in the statement.

Go deeper: Delta variant threatens masking guidance

Go deeper

Women's heart disease risk rises with COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The pandemic may have put millions of more women — particularly young women — unknowingly on track for heart disease complications.

Driving the news: Several studies have emerged in the past year sounding alarms on how pandemic stressors like the increasingly difficult work-life balance, caregiving burdens and social isolation have left women bearing the brunt of this epidemic.

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.