WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday gave its blessing for the emergency use of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth coronavirus shot to be approved in the United States.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., signed off on the recommendation from the agency vaccine advisory panel that unanimously endorsed the vaccine on Tuesday afternoon. "Today, we have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," Walensky said in a statement. "If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated."
The vaccine uses nanoparticles made of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus to stimulate an immune response, making it the latest in a long line of protein-based vaccines that have been used worldwide for many years.
The CDC approval follows last Wednesday's emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Novavax vaccine is given in two shots, three weeks apart. The Biden administration plans to buy 3.2 million doses of the vaccine, enough for 1.6 million people.
"Authorizing an additional COVID-19 vaccine expands the available vaccine options for the prevention of COVID-19, including the most severe outcomes that can occur such as hospitalization and death," FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., said in a statement last week. "Today's authorization offers adults in the United States who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine another option that meets the FDA's rigorous standards."
Right now, the Novavax vaccine is only authorized as an initial immunization series, so those who have gotten one of the three other COVID-19 vaccines cannot use it as a booster shot, The New York Times reported. The company has said it plans to apply for booster authorization soon.