Americans will now have another choice if they want a COVID booster shot.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novavax Inc.’s protein-based vaccine as the first booster dose. Until now, it had only been approved as a two-dose primary series.
“The U.S. now has access to the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, adjuvanted, the first protein-based option, as a booster,” Novavax President and CEO Stanley Erck said in a news release. “According to CDC data, almost 50 percent of adults who received their primary series have yet to receive their first booster dose. Offering another vaccine choice may help increase COVID-19 booster vaccination rates for these adults.”
Only 35,300 people have received Novavax’s shots as a primary series so far in the U.S., according to data from the CDC. By comparison, some 372.5 million Pfizer shots, 235.8 million Moderna doses and 18.9 million Johnson & Johnson shots have been administered across the U.S. so far.
Who’s eligible for the Novavax booster?
The Novavax booster could be used by adults who can’t find or are not able to use an mRNA booster from Pfizer or Moderna. It’s also available to people who prefer this vaccine for a booster over the mRNA options. The Novavax booster can be given at least six months after the primary series.
What makes Novavax different from the others?
The Novavax vaccine uses a more traditional approach to fighting the virus, teaching the immune system to recognize modified fragments of the coronavirus spike protein.
Protein-based vaccines like the Novavax shot teach the immune system to recognize little modified pieces of the virus that the vaccine is targeting. When this happens, fragments of the coronavirus spike protein. The vaccine was created out of a genetic sequence of the original strain of the coronavirus.
News of the FDA’s authorization of Novavax’s boosters comes as millions of Americans have already