FDA greenlights Novavax's updated COVID vaccine

Novavax crop

Photo: Courtesy of Novavax

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today granted emergency use authorization for Novavax's updated COVID vaccine, paving the way for people to begin receiving it.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its universal recommendation that people ages 6 months and up receive updated COVID vaccines, it included language that covered all approved COVID vaccines, meaning its advisory group won't have to meet again to recommend it, once the FDA approves the vaccine.

Novavax is an adjuvanted protein-based vaccine made on a more traditional platform and is an option for those who are looking for an alternative to mRNA vaccines. The vaccine is indicated for use in peoples ages 12 years and older.

The new version of the vaccine has been updated to include the spike protein from the XBB.1.5 Omicron variant.

Peter Marks, MD, PhD, who directs the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said COVID vaccines have saved countless lives, and he urged people to receive an updated vaccine that offers better protection against circulating variants. "Today's authorization provides an additional COVID-19 vaccine option that meets the FDA’s standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization."

Novavax has said that its vaccine will be available at thousands of locations, including local retail pharmacies CVS and Rite Aid and doctors' offices.

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