A French research team found that 28 days after administration of the single-dose J&J shot, and the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the J&J recipients were 5.2 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid than those who got the Pfizer shot.
Overall hospitalizations in the study were low, though, with basically zero percent of Pfizer recipients and less than 0.5 percent of J&J recipients recording hospitalizations.
The J&J shot quickly fell out of favor in the U.S. after receiving authorization in spring of 2020, often regarded as less effective that the Pfizer or Moderna shots.
Some vaccine providers have stopped offering it, and it is far and away the least popular of the three shots available to Americans.
Researchers found that elderly people who received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine were at a significantly higher risk of hospitalization than those who received the Pfizer shot
Overall hospitalization rates among people who received either the Pfizer or J&J vaccines in the study were still very low, even though the elderly are at more risk. Pictured: An older woman in Strasbourg, France, receives a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine on September 24
Researchers, who published their findings Wednesday in JAMA Network Open, gathered data from nearly 700,00 Pfizer recipients and nearly 700,000 people who received the J&J shot for the study.
Data was gathered from the French National Health Data System, from April to July 2021. The data proceeds the Omicron variant, but does include the early portions of the nation’s Delta variant fueled surge last summer.
Each study subject who received the J&J shot was matched with a Pfizer recipient based of age, sex and area of residence.
Recipients were followed up with around 28 days after receiving the final shot in the vaccine sequence to see if they had been hospitalized with the virus at some point after getting the shot.
Data was normalized around the Pfizer vaccine to determine the risk level of the J&J shot in particular.
The vaccine generally take around 14 days to fully activate in a person’s body and give someone a full slate of antibodies.
Demand for the J&J vaccine has largely dropped off in the U.S., but it is still a key part of the vaccine rollout in the developing world (file photo)
Researchers found that in the time between the shot receipt and follow up, J&J recipients were 5.51 times more likely to have been hospitalized with the virus.
From 14 days after receiving the vaccine to the follow up date, J&J recipients were 6.7 times more likely to be admitted with Covid.
Over the long-term – the period from 28 days after receiving the jab to the follow up date – J&J recipients were 5.2 times as likely to be hospitalized.
The findings have grave implications. The J&J vaccine was widely available in many nations, and attracted some people due to its one-dose nature.
Health experts have learned in recent months that the main value provided by the COVID-19 vaccines are not their ability to prevent infection, but instead the ability to prevent hospitalization and death from Covid.
J&J’s shot seems to have failed at its main purpose when compared to its peers, especially among the highly vulnerable 55 and older population.
Many people likely received the J&J shot, thinking it made them safe from severe Covid, when had they know how much less effective it was would have opted for the Pfizer or Moderna shot instead.
The one dose shot has been administered 18.4 million times in the U.S., to fully vaccinate 16.7 million people and boost around 1.3 million others.
Those figures are dwarfed by the Moderna and Pfizer shots, which have fully vaccinated 75.3 million and 123.4 million Americans respectively.
Demand for the shots in the U.S. has been limited as well, with the J&J shot growing a poor reputation stateside due to its lower efficacy, production issues early on and the shot even having its FDA authorization paused in April over potentially deadly blood clotting issues found in some women.
It is still being used in much of the developing world, though, as its one shot nature makes it easier to administer in countries where supplies may be limited.