Americans who have not received the COVID immunization should soon have Novavax as fourth alternative.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave its final approval for use in an emergency to Novavax’s product. Who should be eligible for the vaccine will be decided at a meeting of advisors for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention next week.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf stated in a statement that “approving a second COVID-19 vaccine expands the available vaccine options for the prevention of COVID-19, including the most severe consequences that can occur such as hospitalization and death.” “Today’s authorization provides adults in the United States who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine with another option that complies with the FDA’s exacting standards… COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the best preventive measure against serious disease brought on by COVID-19, so I urge anyone who is qualified but has not yet received one to think about doing so.”
The New York Times noted that because the Novavax shot is only now approved as the first in a series of immunizations, those who have already received one of the other three COVID vaccines cannot use it as a booster dose. The business intends to submit a booster authorization application soon.
As an alternative to the most popular shots made by Pfizer and Moderna, which employ messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, Novavax intends to position its shot. A vaccination made by Johnson & Johnson is the third injection option in the US.
The first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine is now available in the United States thanks to the FDA emergency use license granted today, according to Stanley Erck, president, and chief executive officer of Novavax. “This license highlights the important need to provide another vaccine option for the U.S. population while the pandemic continues and demonstrates the strength of our COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy and safety data.”
Many Americans have already received their first or second booster shots, but around 22% have not.
The vaccination from Novavax is administered in two injections, three weeks apart. For 1.6 million people, the Biden administration intends to purchase 3.2 million doses.
The vaccine is the most recent in a long line of protein-based vaccines that have been used widely for many years. It stimulates an immune response by using nanoparticles made of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus.
Similar to the mRNA vaccines, six cases of heart inflammation were discovered in about 40,000 trial participants. Novavax’s vaccine is also associated with an increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. These kinds of cardiac inflammation can also be brought on by COVID-19, scientists say.
Due to production problems, the vaccine took longer to reach this position than the other choices. After quality testing is complete “in the next several weeks,” the fresh doses will be made available, according to the Times.
How the news will be received by Americans is still unknown. In a Morning Consult study, only 10% of unvaccinated respondents stated they would definitely or probably obtain a protein-based vaccine. Other developed nations with affluent populations have demonstrated little demand for the medication, such as those in Europe, where just 12.6 million pills were distributed between December and June 30 compared to more than a billion doses of mRNA vaccines up to that point.
However, it is unclear if Novavax will be as effective against the Omicron variant. Clinical trials have found Novavax to be highly protective against symptomatic infection. According to the Times, the business is aiming to create new vaccines that would specifically target Omicron and its variations.
In preliminary results, a booster aimed at the BA.1 form of Omicron demonstrated a robust immune response. According to a statement from the firm, dose-ready clinical trial data may be made public in September. Additionally, Novavax will expedite attempts to modify medications, particularly for the BA.4 and BA.5 types.
John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell, told the Times that while he thought the Novavax vaccine was great, he wasn’t yet sure that an Omicron-based booster would offer significantly more protection than the original.
Moore remarked that there was “not enough information.”
Because Novavax caused little aches, weariness, and other side effects in clinical studies, including for Moore, who volunteered in one, Moore believes that if it is approved as a booster, some people may find it appealing.
The Band-Aid was the only indicator, he claimed, of whose arm he had the needle in the following day. “I’ll take another dosage of Novavax at some point in the fall.”