The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly approved the fourth COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax Inc. for emergency use among adults aged 18 and above to expand the range of available antiviral vaccines in the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to host a meeting soon to decide whether to approve the vaccine and who would receive the shot first before pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can start administering it. Novavax is also anticipated to complete its quality testing in the upcoming weeks.
The vaccine was approved by authorities as part of a primary immunization series rather than a booster, which will thus restrict its initial use. According to FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the strongest defense against the virus, so everyone who is eligible but has not yet had one should think about getting jabbed as early as possible.
The action follows the Biden administration's announcement that it had negotiated with the Maryland-based biotech firm, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.
According to a statement from several U.S. states, federal pharmacy partners, and jurisdictions, have ordered health clinics to offer free access to the protein-based vaccination from the company, which would be administered in doses scheduled three weeks apart.
In June 2022, the FDA voted to propose a temporary authorization for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 and above. However, the FDA's approval of the company's vaccine was postponed for weeks due to a review of Novavax's manufacturing procedure.
The approval of the vaccine authorization came after a recent spike in cases related to the Omicron strain in the UK. Even healthcare professionals are appealing for the reinstatement of infection control procedures in several parts of the world.