INDIA- India expects to receive its first doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine filled and finished in the country by American drugmaker’s partner Biological E.

Last month, India’s drug regulator granted emergency approval to the J&J vaccine, whether imported or locally filled and finished by J&J’s Indian partner, Biological E.

The Asian nation could receive up to 43.5 million doses of the single-shot vaccine in October, which would be a significant step toward helping India meet its target of producing more than 300 million doses in the month.

Based on 2011 census data for India, there are around 950 million people aged 18 years and above who are eligible for vaccines.

So far, only 11 % of the eligible population have received full immunizations of the two dose vaccines, while 61% have received first dose of the two dose regimen vaccines.

That means that the country still needs around 285 million doses per month over the next five months to vaccinate all remaining adults by the end of 2021.

J&J booster shot increases antibody titer

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has announced that a second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine given in a window period of two months after the first increased its effectiveness against moderate to severe forms of the disease in the United States to 94%.

This compares favorably to its single-dose, providing 70% protection.

The second dose of the inoculant also increases antibody titer four to six times compared with one shot alone, J&J said.

According to the company’s recent data, the J&J booster dose given six months from the first shot appears to be potentially even more protective against Covid, increasing antibody levels twelve-fold, suggesting a significant improvement in protection with the longer interval between doses.

The data will aid J&J’s case to US regulators for a booster shot, even as the company emphasizes the durability of its single-shot vaccine as a tool to combat the global pandemic.

The company has now “generated evidence that a booster shot further increases protection against COVID-19,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

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