Last week, the CDC endorsed the recommendation from its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine be available for adults ages 18 years and older. This recommendation offers unvaccinated adults in the United States another safe and effective vaccine option.
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose primary series 21 days apart. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is currently not authorized for use as a booster dose or an additional dose for immunocompromised individuals. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild. The most common side effect was pain at the injection site. COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.
Novavax is a COVID-19 vaccine that uses a more traditional protein-based technology, unlike the other vaccines currently available in the US. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use mRNA technology and Johnson & Johnson is a viral-vector vaccine. Similar to other COVID-19 vaccines, it is anticipated that the Novavax vaccine will be effective in protecting against severe COVID-19 illness, including hospitalization and death.
“More than 64% of adults in North Dakota have started their COVID-19 vaccine series,” said Immunization Director, Molly Howell. “COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool for preventing serious outcomes, including hospitalization and death, due to COVID-19. North Dakotans who are not yet vaccinated and interested in the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to have a conversation with a trusted health care provider.”
A limited supply of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has been purchased for use in the United States. North Dakota has received a one-time allocation of 7,800 doses. Doses will be available in North Dakota, later this week. Health care providers are in the process of educating staff and updating protocols and some will begin offering the Novavax vaccine once it is available.
“North Dakotans who have already been vaccinated, but not yet boosted are encouraged to have a conversation with a trusted health care provider about vaccination,” said Howell. “By getting boosted, individuals are protecting themselves from severe illness. People ages 50 and older are recommended to receive a second booster dose.”
Information about COVID-19 vaccine providers and clinics near you can be found on the NDDoH COVID Vaccine Locator page. Individuals can also contact the NDDoH Public Health Hotline at 1-866-207-2880 for questions related to COVID-19 and for assistance in scheduling a vaccine appointment.