US CDC recommends Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adults

This file photo taken on Nov 17, 2020 shows vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US biotech company Novavax. (JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

MEXICO CITY / NICOSIA – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended use of Novavax Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged 18 and above.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said the decision "expanded the options available" to US adults for vaccinations.

The US government has secured 3.2 million Novavax vaccine doses

"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," she said.

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The recommendation came after the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously backed the shot, a week after the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine as two-dose primary vaccination series. 

The US government has secured 3.2 million Novavax vaccine doses. Novavax said in an emailed statement that it expects to ship doses for the US government to distribute in the coming days.

More than 77 of US adults have been fully vaccinated with shots from Moderna Inc, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson.

Novavax hopes its protein-based shot can reach wider acceptance among vaccine skeptics, because it uses an older technology than the messenger RNA vaccines. Protein-based vaccines have been used for decades to combat diseases including hepatitis B and influenza.

With the Novavax shots, "we really need to focus on that population with the hope that (the new shot) will change them over from being unvaccinated," Dr Oliver Brooks, one of the ACIP voting members said.

In a 30,000 participant clinical trial conducted before the emergence of the vaccine-evasive Omicron variant, the two-dose vaccine was around 90 percent effective at preventing illness from COVID-19.

In July, Novavax said the vaccine shows broad immune response to currently circulating variants, including Omicron subvariants BA.4/5.

Serum Institute of India, company's manufacturing partner, received FDA approval last week to export the vaccine to the country.

The Novavax shot has been available in Europe since December, but there has not been significant demand for it there. More than 13 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed around the EU, but only around 250,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered there.

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Last week, the European Medicines Agency identified severe allergic reactions as potential side effects of the shot while the US product label warns against administering the shot to people with a history of allergic reactions to any components of the shot.

Novavax has been testing updated vaccine based on the first BA.1 Omicron variant and expects it to be available by the fourth quarter.

The company has also accelerated development of shots to protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and expects additional preclinical data on such in late summer or fall.

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades welcomes Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer (left) at the presidential palace in the capital Nicosia, on July 13, 2022. (IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / AFP)


Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades has tested positive for COVID-19, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said on Tuesday.

Pelekanos said that Anastasiades was diagnosed positive for the coronavirus disease during a routine check-up on Tuesday morning.

Anastasiades, aged 75, developed mild symptoms and his health is considered to be "very good," Pelekanos added.

The spokesman said that President Anastasiades, in line with health protocols, will abstain from his duties for a day.

Cyprus reinstated the anti-coronavirus regulation of wearing masks indoors and advised the use of masks in crowded meetings outdoors about two weeks ago, as coronavirus infections showed a marked spike.

Health specialists said that bringing back the use of masks indoors had a positive effect, as new infections marked a clear downward trend in the last few days, after peaking at 15,386 during the week that ended on July 14, in a population of less than one million.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said after conferring with the scientific advisory team earlier this week that further measures, such as the reintroduction of a safe pass denoting a full vaccination, a negative test or a recovery from a COVID-19 infection are out of the question, given current pandemic data.

A woman receives her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 in Mexico City on August 10, 2021.


Mexico is showing a decline in some indicators amid the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Tuesday.

The official explained that the drop refers to the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus.

"The daily and weekly increase is already less than the previous 14 weeks," Lopez-Gatell told journalists at the National Palace in Mexico City.

He added that hospital occupancy in beds without ventilators is currently 18 percent and 5 percent in those with ventilators, while the average number of deaths per day is 33.

Lopez-Gatell noted that progress in vaccination against COVID-19 is contributing to the fact that the disease is not causing a serious situation.

As of Monday, Mexico had accumulated 6,454,263 COVID-19 cases and 326,523 deaths.