The New Vaccine on the Block: Novavax Now Authorized for Everyone 12+
This information is current as of this posting.
The Novavax vaccine is now available at our clinics for everyone 12+. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services backed the recommendation for emergency use authorization made by the CDC on August 22.
What is Novavax and is it authorized here in Dane County?
Novavax is a two-dose, protein-based COVID-19 vaccine that is currently being used in more than 40 countries and has been authorized by the European Union and the World Health Organization. The second dose is given three weeks after the first.
Novavax is the fourth COVID vaccine available in the U.S., in addition to Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. As a protein-based vaccine, Novavax is another option for people who are allergic to one of the components in an mRNA or viral-vector vaccine. The vaccine is currently authorized as a primary series only, and not as a booster dose.
How is it different from the existing vaccines?
The Novavax vaccine is created using more traditional protein-based technology for vaccine development like the Hepatitis A vaccine, unlike the other vaccines available which use a different type of technology.
Novavax uses a combination of purified coronavirus spike proteins and an immune-boosting stimulant called an adjuvant (common in many vaccines) to strengthen the body’s immune response against COVID.
What are the side effects?
Regulators authorized the vaccine following an extensive review of clinical trials and safety and effectiveness data.
Common side effects include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain, and headaches.
In terms of serious adverse reactions to Novavax, data show there were six cases of myocarditis in clinical trials, primarily among young men. The clinical trials involved about 28,000 people 12 years of age and older who received two doses of the Novavax vaccine.
The cases of myocarditis in the clinical trial were treatable, and all six individuals recovered well. The risk of developing myocarditis from COVID itself remains higher than the risk of developing it from a COVID vaccine, including Novavax.