In the midst of a summer surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States, the FDA has approved the vaccine developed by Novavax for emergency use. The CDC has endorsed the use of this vaccine as a primary dose for people older than 18.
The approval and endorsement of the Novavax vaccine represents the fourth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the United States and the first protein adjuvant-based vaccine approved for immunization. The Novavax vaccine contains an inactivated nanoparticle of the COVID-19 spike protein which triggers an immune response in individuals receiving the vaccine.
The technology used in the Novavax vaccine is a common and well-tested vehicle used for vaccination. The hepatitis-B, HPV, and diphtheria vaccines and tetanus shots are all examples of vaccines that use protein-based technology to support immunity against a wide range of devastating diseases.
Public health officials hope the addition of a COVID-19 vaccine using this traditional technology results in an increase in vaccination rates among people who were hesitant or medically unable to receive an mRNA-based vaccine such as those developed by Moderna and Pfizer and authorized for use in the United States nearly 18 months ago.
Another significant advantage of protein adjuvant-based vaccines is the ability to transport and store doses using the standard vaccine cold chain instead of maintaining ultra-low storage requirements needed for mRNA-based vaccines. The Novavax vaccine is a refrigerated vaccine that requires storage between 2° and 8°C (36° and 46°F). This makes manufacture, transport, and storage of these vaccines easier, especially in areas where access to ultra-low temperature cold chain technology is limited.
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Like its mRNA counterparts, the Novavax vaccine is administered in two doses given 21 days apart. Currently the vaccine is approved only for use as a primary vaccine for people older than 18. Novavax and the FDA are in the process of reviewing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in people aged 12-17, as well as for use as a booster for individuals who received an mRNA vaccine as their primary immunization.
Helmer Scientific offers a full range of vaccine refrigerators and freezers specifically designed for the storage of vaccines. Our solutions provide safe and effective vaccine storage and help meet CDC and NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard.