ATAGI gives green light to Novavax Covid – 19 vaccine

Image Source: © Alphaspirit | Megapixl.com

Highlights

  • The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by the ATAGI for people aged 18 and above.
  • The vaccine would be available by February. 
  • The recommended course for the vaccine will be two doses.

After getting provisional approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last week, Novavax has finally been given the green light by Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Australian Health Minister - Greg Hunt has confirmed that Novavax will be rolled out from 21 February 2022.

Also known as Nuvaxovid, the spike protein-based vaccine - Novavax can be used for COVID-19 vaccination in people aged 18 or above.

As per the ATAGI, recommended schedule for administration is two doses, with a minimum duration of 3 weeks.

The regulator hasn’t given any specific precaution related to Novavax and said it could be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women. 

Image source – © Erdosain | Megapixl.com

While there are no safety or immunogenicity data available for these groups with the Novavax vaccine, there are no safety concerns related to its use in pregnancy, as Novavax isn’t a live vaccine.

People who were earlier infected with SARS-CoV-2 can also get administered with Novavax. 

Also, people with severe immunocompromise can receive Novavax. However, it isn’t recommended to be used as a booster.

Related read - COVID-19 continues to batter Australia: Will Omicron wave peak soon?

The vaccine can be further administered as a part of a heterologous primary schedule for people who have received other doses and co-administered with other vaccines on the requirement.

However, TGA hasn’t approved Novavax to be used as a COVID-19 booster vaccine. 

Based on phase 2 and 3 trials with over 45,000 participants, Novavax has been demonstrated as a highly effective vaccine preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults. ATGAI is yet to provide an update on the Novavax after further data evaluation to check the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. 

The Australian Federal Government has ordered nearly 51 million vaccine doses, and some of them will be given away under Australia’s vaccine donation program.


 


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