Novavax, which was cleared for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control earlier this month, is the fourth vaccine available for use in the United States.
Novavax differs from its mRNA counterparts because rather than tricking cells in the body into creating parts of the coronavirus, which then triggers an immune system response, it uses a spike protein from the virus itself that has was created as a nanoparticle, which cannot cause disease in a person. It also contains a stimulant to produce a better immune system response.
This older protein-based technology has been used successfully for decades to treat other diseases such as hepatitis B and HPV.
The Novavax coronavirus vaccine was found to be 90% effective against mild, moderate and severe disease in an FDA-led Phase 3 clinical trial involving 30,000 participants ages 18 and older.
“Authorizing an additional COVID-19 vaccine expands the vaccine options available for the prevention of COVID-19, including the more serious consequences that can occur such as hospitalization and death,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf, announcing the authorization of the vaccine. .
The vaccine, which is currently only available to people aged 18 and over, will be given in a primary series of two doses three to eight weeks apart. As of Monday, Long Beach residents interested in receiving a Novavax vaccine can request one at any vaccination clinic in the city, officials said. The vaccine won’t be presented as an option when booking appointments online until the end of August, city officials said, but people can still request it at the clinic.
“We are excited to begin offering the Novavax vaccine to our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “With more options available, we are increasing access to these life-saving vaccines. We urge everyone to get vaccinated and protect themselves if they haven’t already. Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. »
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Health Department announced Friday that its coronavirus vaccination sites will begin administering the Novavax vaccine starting Wednesday.
With the highly infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants driving up the number of cases and hospitalizations, Los Angeles County moved to the “high” level of COVID-19 activity less than two years ago. weeks, prompting officials to consider reinstating the indoor mask mandate. But, citing a downward trend in cases earlier this week, the county decided against it.
Long Beach’s cases have also increased recently. The city has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases each of the past three weeks, with the seven-day case rate soaring to 478.8 on July 20. But officials said earlier this week that even if Los Angeles County were to implement a universal indoor mask mandate, it would still only be a recommendation in Long Beach.
With COVID-19 vaccines now available for everyone 6 months and older, health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated, pointing out that vaccines have been rigorously monitored for s ensure they are safe and effective.
Additionally, parents and guardians are encouraged to enroll their children in V-Safe to share information with the CDC about how their child is feeling after the vaccine. It is recommended that any suspected adverse event after vaccination be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).
City News Service contributed to this report.
Long Beach says it won’t reinstate indoor mask mandate even if LA County does