San Francisco hospital offering ‘supplemental’ COVID-19 vaccine to people who received J&J shot

Health officials noted the 'supplemental' vaccine wasn't a booster dose

San Francisco health officials, along with a major hospital, are "accommodating special requests" for a dose of Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in people who received J&J's one-shot jab, officials confirmed to Fox News.

"[The San Francisco Department of Public Health] SFDPH, including Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, is currently accommodating special requests from individuals who have received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson; J&J) viral vector COVID-19 vaccine and in many cases have consulted with their doctor and wish to receive a supplemental dose with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna)," reads an email statement shared with Fox News. 


"(SFDPH) continues to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and does not recommend a booster shot at this time. We will continue to review any new data and adjust our guidance, if necessary," the statement reads.

The health department said the move didn’t represent a change in policy. Last week, news surfaced that some 55 staff members out of over 7,000 staffers at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital tested COVID-19 positive, as of August 2, and none of the infected staff have required hospitalization, a hospital spokesperson confirmed to Fox News. ABC7 reported that up to 80% of those infected were fully vaccinated.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment. 

In a statement provided to Fox News, J&J noted, in part, the "durability of immune response of a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine has been measured up to 239 days to date and remains robust."

Last month, the FDA and CDC said fully vaccinated Americans "do not need" an extra dose at this time. The health agencies said the U.S. "is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available" to eligible populations. A panel advising the CDC is assessing whether booster doses may be necessary in some immunocompromised patients who may not respond as well to the vaccine.

Early findings from researchers at New York University released ahead of rigorous peer review found that the J&J vaccine may be less effective in battling COVID-19 variants than vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. According to the study, the mRNA-based vaccines Pfizer and Moderna were 94 to 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 whereas the "adenoviral vector-based" Johnson & Johnson had a roughly 67% effective rate. 


"The results show that … all three vaccines raise antibodies against the variants," study lead Nathaniel Landau, a virologist at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, told Fox News. "The vaccines that have two shots (Moderna and Pfizer) raised better antibodies than J&J. All three vaccines are good. J&J might be even better if a second shot were added." 

In a statement previously provided to Fox News, J&J cited previous studies which showed that a single-shot of its COVID-19 vaccine was 85% effective "at protecting against severe disease and provided complete protection against hospitalization and death." 

A few infectious disease experts in late June said they had already forged ahead and received mRNA vaccine following the J&J one-dose shot amid the spread of the delta variant, and ahead of any OK on safety or efficacy from regulators, Reuters reported.

"There's no doubt that the people who receive the J&J vaccine are less protected against disease," than those who get two doses of the other shots, Stanford professor Dr. Michael Lin, told the outlet. "From the principle of taking easy steps to prevent really bad outcomes, this is really a no brainer."

Fox News' Bradford Betz and Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.