Reportage in the Health and Prevention Centre run by the local committee for social hygiene (CDHS) in Lyon, France. MMR vaccination. Priorix immunises against measles, mumps and rubella. (Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

Overview:

Novavax Provides Additional Preventative Option

By: Lindiwe Vilakazi

WI Staff Writer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially approved an emergency use authorization of the latest coronavirus vaccine. Available as either Covovax or Nuvaxovidis, the vaccine is a two-dose treatment with the shots given 21 days apart for adults who are 18 or older.  

Dr. Peter Marks, PhD, and director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the Food and Drug Administration, told Science.org the importance of creating viable vaccination options that will appeal to those individuals who have resisted inoculations by Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer vaccines. He said, “Having a protein-based alternative may be more comfortable for some in terms of their acceptance of vaccines.  Anything we can do to get people…to be able to accept these potentially lifesaving medical products is something that we feel we are compelled to do.” 
Novavax uses the same technology as vaccines already used for hepatitis B and HPV. It’s hoped this could convince the 26 to 37 million American adults who haven’t been vaccinated yet to do so. 

While the FDA has approved emergency use, Novavax is still set to undergo further quality testing of the vaccine within the “next few weeks” on recommendation from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, to determine how the shots will be used.  The CDC’s Advisory Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, July 19th. 

Novavax, a Maryland-based biotechnology company, has already officiated an agreement with The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Defense, securing 3.2 million initial doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine.  Final approval of the vaccine’s emergency use will make the niche shots available to states, jurisdictions, federally qualified health centers, and federal pharmacy partners. 

In preparation for the upcoming fall season, Novavax scientists are additionally working to revamp a variant booster to specifically manage the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus subvariants, optimistically planning to supply the updated booster within the last quarter of the year.

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