FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine

Washington, DC–Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 18 years of age and older. 

The FDA has determined that the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an EUA. The data support that the known and potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in people 18 years of age and older, and that this vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19. In making this determination, the FDA can assure the public and medical community that a thorough analysis and evaluation of the available safety and effectiveness data and manufacturing information have been conducted.

The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart. The vaccine contains the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and Matrix-M adjuvant. Adjuvants are incorporated into some vaccines to enhance the immune response of the vaccinated individual. The spike protein in this vaccine is produced in insect cells; the Matrix M-adjuvant contains saponin extracts from the bark of the Soapbark tree that is native to Chile. 

The vaccine was assessed in an ongoing randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study conducted in the United States and Mexico. The effectiveness of the vaccine was assessed in clinical trial participants 18 years of age and older who did not have evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection through 6 days after receiving the second vaccine dose. Among these participants, approximately 17,200 received the vaccine and approximately 8,300 received saline placebo. Overall, the vaccine was 90.4% effective in preventing mild, moderate or severe COVID-19, with 17 cases of COVID-19 occurring in the vaccine group and 79 cases in the placebo group. No cases of moderate or severe COVID-19 were reported in participants who received the vaccine, compared with 9 cases of moderate COVID-19 and 4 cases of severe COVID-19 reported in placebo recipients. In the subset of participants 65 years of age and older, the vaccine was 78.6% effective. The clinical trial was conducted prior to the emergence of delta and omicron variants.

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