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COVID-19 Vaccines: Novavax

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Novavax is the latest FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, joining Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson.

VCU Health infectious disease expert Dr. Gonzalo Bearman answers our questions about the Novavax vaccine.

What is the Novavax vaccine?

The Novavax vaccine is not an MRNA vaccine, as Moderna and Pfizer are. This is a vaccine made from a part of the spike protein of the coronavirus. The spike protein triggers the immune system to create antibodies against the virus, which creates immunity against infection.

Dr. Gonzalo Bearman wearing a face mask How many shots are given for this vaccine?

Two doses are in the primary series, and they are given three to eight weeks apart.

Can the Novavax be used as a COVID-19 booster shot?

The Novavax vaccine is not authorized for use as a booster dose.

Who is eligible to get the vaccine?

Adults 18 and over are currently eligible. The Novavax is not approved for use in pediatric patients yet.

When will the vaccine be available?

The Virginia Department of Health is anticipating that the Novavax vaccine will be available in mid-August.

Is there anything else I need to know about this vaccine?

We think it’s going to be effective against omicron, but there still isn’t a lot of data to back that up. We hope that it’ll be at least as effective as the mRNA vaccines, with fewer doses, whether boosters will be required is yet to be determined.

 

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