J&J efficacy against delta variant in question

By Sahar Chmais

Based on a preliminary study, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may not be as effective in protecting against the Delta and Lambda variants, according to a study.

The study was conducted in a laboratory using blood samples, which may not be what is reflected in the real world. Still, authors of the study suggested that those who received one J&J vaccine may need a booster shot, which may be more effective if taken as the mRNA form, used by Pfizer and Moderna.

Around the U.S., 13 million residents have been inoculated with the J&J vaccine. While clinics run by the Hays County Local Health Department have not been giving the J&J vaccine, pharmacies across Hays County have been providing it.

There are 124,169 Hays County residents who are vaccinated with at least one dose, and 106,124 fully vaccinated residents, as of Friday, July 23.

COVID-19 infections across the county drastically rose in mid-July, but the number of daily new infections began decreasing around July 20. There are 565 active cases in Hays County and a total of 266 COVID-19 related deaths.

Although cases in Hays County have declined, Austin just announced that it has moved into Stage 4 COVID-19 regulations, tightening recommendations on gatherings and masks.

Additionally, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will not impose another mask mandate, even though cases across the state have been on the rise.

“There will be no mask mandate imposed, and the reasons for that are very clear,” Abbott told KPRC-TV in Houston on Tuesday. “There are so many people who have immunities to COVID, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity.”

It would be “inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask,” Abbott said.

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About Author

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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