A fourth vaccine from Novavax .. efficacy of 90.4%
Islam News – The United States approved its fourth vaccine for use against the coronavirus. The new vaccine from Novavax, a Maryland pharmaceutical company, works differently from the three other Covid vaccines in use.
While Novavax doses are expected to play a limited role in the country’s immunization campaign, at least initially, having another approved tool to fight the virus as it continues to mutate is a positive development. Here’s what else you need to know about the new shot.
The technology. Contrary to the three Covid vaccines authorized in the U.S., the Novavax version provokes an immune response with nanoparticles made up of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Similar protein-based vaccines have been used globally for decades.
Effectiveness. With two doses spaced three weeks apart, the vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent, on par with the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, and higher than the one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The Novavax vaccine showed an efficacy of 100 percent at preventing moderate or severe disease.
Versus Omicron. The vaccine was tested before the emergence of the variant, which has sharply reduced the effectiveness of other authorized vaccines in preventing infections. However, Novavax is developing new versions of its vaccine that target Omicron and its highly contagious subvariants. Preliminary data from laboratory and animal studies indicate that a booster shot aimed at the BA.1 subvariant, which preceded the current highly infectious BA.5 version, generates strong immune responses to the virus. The company says it expects to have results from a clinical trial of that shot in September, with doses ready in the last three months of the year.
Side effects. Novavax’s vaccine is linked to an elevated but small risk of forms of heart inflammation known as myocarditis and pericarditis. The company said it had identified 17 definite or probable cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in over one million doses. The mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are also linked to an elevated risk of these conditions, but that link did not emerge until after they were put into large-scale use.
As a booster. Trials have also shown that Novavax’s shot works well as a booster, and the company is expected soon to seek authorization for it to be used that way. But the C.D.C. recommended that it be used as an option for adults as their first vaccination against the coronavirus.
Novavax is hoping its shot will appeal to the millions of people who have so far declined to be vaccinated, perhaps because they are wary of the technology behind the mRNA vaccines.
About 22 percent of people in the U.S. have not received a single Covid vaccine dose.
Source: The New York Times