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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The real-world effectiveness of the one-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is 74%, even with the spread of the more infectious variants that were not present during the original clinical trials, a new analysis suggests.

The findings are based on 8,889 adults in the Mayo Clinic Health System who got the J&J shot during the first five months after it received emergency use authorization in February and a matched cohort of 88,898 adults who did not get the shot (or any other COVID shot).

There were 60 SARS-CoV-2 infections in the vaccinated group versus 2, after depo provera 236 in the unvaccinated group, which corresponds to an effectiveness of 73.6% (95% confidence interval, 65.9% to 79.9%) and a 3.73-fold reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infections, Dr. Juan Corchado-Garcia of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based health-technology company nference and colleagues report in JAMA Network Open.

The 74% real-world effectiveness of the J&J shot is in line with the effectiveness of 66.9% reported in the phase 3 clinical trial of this vaccine, they note.

However, it remains lower than the vaccine effectiveness in clinical trials of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which top 90%, note the authors of an invited commentary.

The real-world effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been reported to be 86.1% and 93.3%, respectively (

A recent study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant at 95% with the Moderna vaccine, 60% with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 60% with J&J vaccine, Dr. Zahra Rikhtegaran Tehrani and Dr. Mohammad M. Sajadi with the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore, note in their commentary.

Based on a “growing body of literature,” it appears that the single-dose J&J vaccine, “although providing protection against infection and serious disease in most recipients, still has room for improvement,” they say.

“This may ultimately come in the form of a second dose of the same vaccine, as reported recently (increasing vaccine effectiveness to 94%, per the manufacturer), or potentially by boosting the (J&J) vaccine with another vaccine (mRNA or protein based),” they conclude.

SOURCE: and Network Open, online November 2, 2021.

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