(HealthDay News) — During a period of omicron predominance, vaccination with a single Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) dose offers lower protection than any of the booster strategies, according to research published in the March 29 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Karthik Natarajan, Ph.D., from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues determined the real-world vaccine effectiveness (VE) of one Janssen vaccine dose and two alternative booster strategies: a homologous booster and a heterologous mRNA booster. The VE of these booster strategies was also compared to that of an mRNA booster following mRNA primary series vaccination. A total of 80,287 emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) visits and 25,244 hospitalizations across 10 states were examined during Dec. 16, 2021, to March 7, 2022, when the predominant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 variant was omicron.

The researchers found that VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated ED/UC encounters was 24, 54, 79, and 83 percent after one Janssen dose, two Janssen doses, one Janssen dose and one mRNA dose, and three mRNA doses, respectively. For the same vaccination strategies, the VE rates against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations were 31, 67, 78, and 90 percent, respectively.

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“Adults who received a Janssen vaccine as their first dose should preferentially receive a heterologous mRNA vaccine booster dose ≥2 months later, or a homologous Janssen vaccine booster dose if mRNA vaccine is contraindicated or unavailable,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

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