COVID-19

Novavax vaccine now approved for use in Australia

Novavax – the long awaited protein-based COVID-19 vaccine – has today been given the second green light and is now fully approved for use in Australia.

Novavax has today been given the second green light and is now approved for use in Australia.

Health Minister Greg Hunt today announced that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the use of the Novavax vaccine.

The long awaited Novavax is first protein COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in Australia and will be available from the week of February 21.

Australians aged 18 and over will now have access to a fourth COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s a protein based vaccine, for some, who may have had contrary indications or reactions with regards to other vaccines, this will provide an additional opportunity for them, as well as those who for whatever reason have not taken up the program so far.

The recommendations from ATAGI follow Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), provisionally approving the Novavax vaccine in Australia last week.

ATAGI has recommended the Novavax vaccine be given in two doses, at least three weeks apart.

Australia has purchased 51 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Samples of the Novavax vaccines are set to arrive in Australia in early February to enable TGA batch testing.

Subject to successful TGA batch testing, the Novavax vaccine will be available to be administered from the week of February 21, 2022.

Australians will be able to access a Novavax vaccine through general practices, community pharmacies, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Commonwealth vaccination centres, and state and territory clinics.

All primary care vaccine providers, who are currently participating in the vaccine rollout have already received an expression of interest to administer Novavax.

The vaccine is only approved by the TGA for use in a primary course of vaccination. Studies for its use as a booster dose and in paediatric patients are ongoing. The vaccine does not have regulatory approval for these purposes at this stage.

ATAGI recommends the Novavax vaccine can be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

It also advises the vaccine can be used for people who are severely immunocompromised and who are recommended to receive three doses for their primary course of vaccination.

ATAGI has noted the vaccine has been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults.

The vaccine, developed by US pharmaceutical company Novavax, was expected to hit Australian shores in 2021, however, it experienced unprecedented delays in its approval due to supply issues. The initial data was provided to the TGA in January of last year.

The Novavax vaccine was recently approved for use in individuals 16 and over across the EU by the European Commission on December 21, following the tick of approval for medical experts.

Clinical trials show that the Novavax has a 90 per cent efficacy rate against those with a symptomatic infection, and a 100 per cent efficacy at preventing severe COVID-19 cases.

Novavax is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Australia after Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Spikevax (Moderna), and Comirnaty (Pfizer).

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.

Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.

More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.

For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

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