July 1, 2022

the Novavax vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency

A fifth vaccine, that of the American firm Novavax, was authorized Monday, December 20 in the European Union to fight against Covid 19. It is based on a more conventional technology than the previous vaccines.

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In this vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency since Monday, December 20, no messenger RNA, (as in that of Pfizer or Moderna).
It also contains no virus, no viral vector (as in that of Johnson & Johnson or Astra Zeneca). Here, it is a protein that triggers the immune response. This technology is old, it is the one used in vaccines against hepatitis B or pertussis. And for the CEO of Novavax, this is an argument that could convince some unvaccinated reluctant to face the more recent messenger RNA technology.

Another advantage, compared to these RNA vaccines, this new vaccine, called Nuva-xovid, does not need to be stored at very cold temperatures but only between 2 ° C and 8 ° C which will allow it to be transported. store it more easily, including in southern countries. It is also already authorized in Indonesia and the Philippines.

This vaccine is, at this stage, as effective as the messenger RNA vaccines which are the most used. According to clinical trials conducted in Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom, this vaccine provides 90% protection against symptomatic forms of Covid, two weeks after the two injections and the side effects are “mild and moderate “. The downside is that the clinical trials were conducted when the Omicron variant was not yet in circulation. We will therefore have to wait for additional data. The firm Novavax indicates, however, that it is already working on a version suitable for Omicron, in the event that this would be necessary.

This vaccine could be available in France not before next January, because it must first receive a green light from the High Authority for Health, which has not planned to make its decision before early 2022. We do not expect delivery before January anyway. The European Commission concluded in August an agreement for the advance purchase of up to 200 million doses by 2023. The distribution by country is made in proportion to the population. Of this stock, 15%, therefore 30 million doses, could return to France.