Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has announced that Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine for adults will be made available to people aged 18 and above who require or prefer a protein-based vaccine.
CDC’s recommendation comes barely a week after the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in individuals 18 years and older as a primary vaccination series against COVID-19, and an Advisory Community on Immunization Practices’ recommendation for use of this vaccine.
“The Novavax vaccine is one more important tool in our COVID-19 response, and it marks one more way we’re working to make safe and effective vaccines available to the public,” Secretary Becerra said in a statement. “Based on CDC and FDA action, the Novavax vaccine will be available for people age 18 and up who require or prefer a protein-based vaccine. We will leave no stone unturned to protect people against COVID-19 and save lives,” he added.
Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is designed and manufactured differently than the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. It contains SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike protein, which is also known as an “antigen” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in combination with an adjuvant, which enhances the immune system response to the spike protein.
FDA-approved protein-based vaccines have been used widely for decades; examples of more recently approved vaccines that contain a purified protein combined with an adjuvant include vaccines to prevent hepatitis B and shingles. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine offers an option to individuals who may be allergic to a component in the mRNA vaccines, or who have a personal preference for receiving a vaccine other than an mRNA-based vaccine.
This is the fourth Covid-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States.
Under the Biden Administration’s intensive vaccination program, more than 260 million Americans received at least their first shot, 222 million received both the doses, and nearly 110 million people a booster shot. Still, more than 21 percent of the eligible U.S. population hasn’t yet received even a single anti-Covid vaccine.
Biden said that although his government’s unprecedented effort has already saved more than 2 million American lives, “more people need to roll up their sleeves, particularly as we confront BA.5.”
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