(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration has approved Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is a more traditional alternative to the well-known options by Pfizer and Moderna.
Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said that the committee acknowledged the presented data and the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine based on a protein.
“The Advisory Committee’s positive recommendation acknowledges the strength of our data and the importance of a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine developed using an innovative approach to traditional vaccine technology,” he said.
Experts in the field, as well as consumers, supported the vaccine with enthusiasm, according to Erck.
“We have heard in today’s VRBPAC meeting the significant support for our vaccine from physicians, healthcare organizations, and consumers who are eagerly anticipating a protein-based vaccine option,” Erck said.
The committee saw the data presented by the company, which showed that the vaccine was 90% effective when it comes to preventing mild and severe COVID-19 cases. The company conducted two large clinical trials before the Omicron wave hit the population. Also, Novavax said that their product had a “reassuring safety profile,” Townhall reported.
There is a market for the company in this country among the people who decided to not take the vaccine from other companies, Erck said. He also noted that other markets include children and people who need booster shots.
For people who are reluctant to get vaccinated, it’s critical to get them comfortable enough to take a shot, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said.
“We do have a problem with vaccine uptake that is very serious in the United States, and anything we can do to get people more comfortable, to be able to accept these potentially life-saving medical products, is something that we feel we are compelled to do,” he said.
During the VRBPAC meeting, Dr. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and a member of the committee, asked why there’s a need in adding a different vaccine when three others were authorized and approved: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
“The [J&J] vaccine is currently not being used as a frontline vaccine the same way as the mRNA vaccines, which leaves the issue of vaccines for those who might not want to take an mRNA vaccine because of concerns they might have,” Marks responded.
“Having a protein-based alternative may be more comfortable for some in terms of their acceptance of [the] vaccine,” he added.