(WXYZ) — In today’s health alert, another COVID-19 vaccine has received FDA approval. Novavax’s newer vaccine is a more traditional vaccine that offers an alternative to the mRNA vaccine.
Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use mRNA technology. This teaches cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response against COVID-19. The Novavax vaccine’s spike protein has been pre-made, and the vaccine also contains additives that help speed up the immune response.
Now, protein-based technologies have been around for a long time. Other vaccines using this type include hepatitis B, HPV, and tetanus toxoid. This is not to say that mRNA vaccines lack credibility. The technology platform is certainly new to the public, but research on it has been around since the early 1990s.
As for which vaccine works best, I don’t think there’s much difference between them. They both provide good response and target the XBB Omicron sub-variant. However, Novavax is reported to have fewer side effects, such as pain and muscle soreness. Overall, protein-based vaccines tend not to cause serious side effects.
People 12 and older who have been previously vaccinated but not received the mRNA shot are eligible to receive the Novavax shot. Additionally, unvaccinated people can get two doses.
As for the CDC approval, it has been approved. The agency’s advisory committee voted in favor of recommending an updated monovalent vaccine against XBB that is authorized or approved by the FDA. This may seem unusual, but the advisory committee already reviewed Novavax’s latest data at a meeting in September. This means protein-based vaccines should be available soon. The company said it has millions of doses ready and will be shipped to pharmacies and health care providers in the coming days.
I would like to emphasize again the importance of vaccination. Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are rising. As more people spend the cold winter months indoors, I expect the numbers to continue to increase. Remember, the COVID-19 vaccine is very effective in preventing the most serious consequences if you get infected. And they don’t contain any live viruses and can’t cause infection. Now is the perfect time to get updated vaccines that will help protect against currently circulating variants. I will receive mine this Friday.