On Tuesday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the use of the new vaccine by Novavax for people ages 18 and above.
“We have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously, 12-0, for this vaccine’s approval.
“Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available in the coming weeks, is an important tool in the pandemic and provides a more familiar type of COVID-19 vaccine technology for adults,” said the CDC. “Having multiple types of vaccines offers more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions, and vaccine providers.”
The Biden Administration bought 3.2 million Novavax vaccine doses. They hope that this new vaccine by Novavax will give people more options to get vaccinated if they still have not gotten any vaccine.
“We really need to focus on that population with the hope that will change them over from being unvaccinated,” said Dr. Oliver Brooks, one of the CDC’s ACIP voting members.
The company’s manufacturing partner, Serum Institute of India, got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to export the vaccine to the United States. This new protein-based vaccine will be distributed in two doses, getting the second dose after three weeks after the first dose.
“If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated,” said Walensky. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise again across parts of the country, vaccination is critical to help protect against the complications of severe COVID-19 disease.”
In Europe, this vaccine by Novavax has been available to people since December, but the demand for it has not been high. According to the company, more than 13 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Europe, but only about 250,000 doses of the Novavax vaccine have been administered.
The European Medicines Agency discovered that a severe allergic reaction can be a potential side effect of the vaccine, and that has now been added to the warning label.
Before the omicron variant, Novavax conducted a clinical trial on 30,000 participants and the effectiveness of the vaccine was 90 percent at preventing illness of COVID-19.
The company now updated the vaccine to attack the omicron variant as well as any new mutant variants like BA.4 and BA.5.
“The science and data are clear: vaccines continue to protect people from serious illness, hospitalizations, and death and with BA.5 increasing infections, it is essential that people get themselves and their kids vaccinated and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations,” said President Biden.