Following the European Union drugs regulator’s approval, the World Health Organization on Tuesday approved a Covid vaccine developed by US pharma company Novavax for emergency use.
On Monday, the European Medicines Agency evaluated and approved Nuvaxovid.
It’s made with more traditional technology than others currently approved, which has officials in Brussels hoping that it would persuade individuals who are hesitant to get vaccinated to do so.
The vaccine is based on a long-standing technology that harnesses proteins found on coronavirus spike proteins to elicit an immune response.
It’s a tried-and-true method that’s been used to protect individuals from diseases like hepatitis B and whooping cough for decades.
The WHO’s so-called emergency use listing (EUL) allows governments all over the world to quickly authorise and import vaccines for distribution.
It also allows them to join the Covax global vaccination-sharing scheme, which was created to ensure equitable access to vaccine doses around the world, particularly in poorer nations.
The two-shot Nuvaxovid vaccine is the UN’s 10th vaccine to receive an EUL.
The Covovax injection, a variant of Novavax’s vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India under licence from the US-based business, is already approved.
On December 17, it was approved.
BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca (which is counted twice for versions made in Europe and India), Indian-made Covaxin, and Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac are also on the list.
Nuvaxovid was found to be 90 percent effective in lowering symptomatic instances of Covid-19 in two large clinical trials involving over 45,000 patients, one in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States and Mexico.
The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization recommended the new vaccine for use in persons over the age of 18 with a three-to-four-week delay between doses in a separate paper.
“The vaccine should not be given with less than a three-week interval,” it stated.
It can be maintained at temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius in the refrigerator, offering it a logistical advantage over mRNA vaccines, which must be kept at ultra-low temperatures.
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