The Food and Drug Administration authorized a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax on Wednesday.
Novavax is a biotechnology company in Maryland that received significant federal funding to produce the shot.
This new two-dose vaccine will be another option for Americans to get vaccinated.
“Today’s authorization offers adults in the United States who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine another option that meets the FDA’s rigorous standards,” said The United States Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and advisers will hold a meeting next week to discuss who should get the Novavax vaccine and to sign off on administering the vaccine.
The Biden administration is set to buy 3.2 million doses, which should be enough to vaccinate 1.6 million people in the United States.
Novavax said it hopes that with this new vaccine, more people will want to get vaccinated, especially those who do not want to get the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“This is a vaccine that could hopefully fill that void for some of those individuals who were reluctant to get it or for individuals who have had major reactions to the mRNA vaccines or who are allergic to certain compounds,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre with St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The Novavax vaccine will be given in two-doses, with the second one being given three weeks after the first dose. According to Novavax, this vaccine is different from the others because this vaccine provokes an immune response with nanoparticles made up of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
There was a delay on development and production problems, which delayed shipping across the country, but according to the company those problems have been fixed.
“You might ask why did it take so long for it to come to fruition? And the reason for that had nothing to do really with safety but had to do with some of the production problems,” Jahre said.
This vaccine has already been approved in Europe and demand has been high for this vaccine there.
“We are at a point in the pandemic where most COVID-19 deaths are preventable,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. “Vaccines remain our single most important tool to protect people against serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths, and staying up to date is essential as we see BA.5 rise across the country.”
Novavax is currently adapting their vaccine to help fight against the new arising omicron variants, specifically BA.4 and BA.5. The company said they expect to have clinical trial results in September and the vaccine ready to go in October.