CDC Approves Novavax Jab for Adults

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
July 19, 2022Vaccines
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CDC Approves Novavax Jab for Adults
An illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of biotech company Novavax, on Nov. 17, 2020. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday endorsed Novavax’s more conventional COVID-19 vaccine for use as a primary shot for eligible Americans aged 18 and older.

The CDC’s independent advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine for adults after reviewing safety and effectiveness data at a public meeting on Tuesday.

Signing off on the Novavax jab gives Americans the option of choosing a shot with a more familiar type of vaccine technology that has been used for more than 30 years in the United States, the CDC said in a statement.

Figures from the CDC show that around 78 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while a significant number remain unvaccinated and distrusting of the jabs.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the Novavax jab will provide options to unvaccinated Americans who don’t want mRNA or viral vector vaccines, such as those made by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

“Today, we have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” Walensky said in a statement.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Novavax is a biotechnology company based in Maryland. Federal health authorities have been slow to authorize its vaccine, despite awarding the company $1.6 billion in 2020 to support the testing, commercialization, and manufacture of a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

How It Differs

Novavax’s shot differs from the mRNA and viral-vector COVID-19 vaccines by using a protein-based technology, which has been used for decades to protect individuals from diseases like shingles and hepatitis.

The Novavax vaccine delivers proteins, coupled with immunity-stimulating adjuvants, directly to a person’s cells, rather than mRNA or DNA, in order to induce a protective immune response.

Protein subunits were first used in the hepatitis B vaccine around 30 years ago, and have since been used for influenza and whooping cough (acellular pertussis) vaccines.

In its phase 3 trial of nearly 30,000 adults in the United States and Mexico, researchers found that the vaccine was 90.4 percent effective against COVID-19.

The researchers also said that “no episodes of anaphylaxis, no evidence of vaccine-associated enhanced COVID-19, and no events that triggered prespecified pause rules were observed.

“No episodes of the Guillain–Barré syndrome and no imbalance in myocarditis or pericarditis or in vaccine-induced immune thrombosis with thrombocytopenia were observed during the relatively short safety follow-up period reported here.”

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is equivalent to the FDA in the United States, said it had received 78 reports of suspected adverse reactions to the Novavax vaccine as of March 6, 2022.

That number increased to 424 by April 3, with 97,800 doses administered. The regulatory agency approved the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the country in January 2022.

Biden Admin Response

President Joe Biden hailed the news as a “step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus.”

“We now have four safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to protect Americans against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death,” he said in a statement.

On July 11, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in conjunction with the Department of Defense had secured 3.2 million doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine.

In response to the CDC panel’s decision, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement that 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.”

“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 said.

Meiling Lee contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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