The Latest in COVID Vaccines: NOVAVAX
August 19, 2022ALLISON LINDSTROM, RNCOVID-19
There are 3 COVID vaccines that are FDA approved in the United States.
- Johnson and Johnson
A fourth vaccine – Novavax – is under review for emergency authorization from the FDA. An independent committee to the FDA voted in favor of the vaccine in July. The Novavax uses a different type of technology compared to the already approved vaccines, however, this technology (subunit protein) has been used in other vaccines that we have been receiving for years. This includes the flu, meningococcal, and pertussis vaccine. The Novavax also uses an adjuvant which will help to increase the immune response to the vaccine by using a soapbark tree extract.
Unlike mRNA vaccines, the spike protein is already premade in the Novavax vaccine. All the synthesis happens outside the body and the end product – the spike protein – is given. Like other COVID-19 vaccines, Novavax does not cause COVID-19 infection so will not cause you to get sick. This vaccine doesn’t contain either live or inactivated virus. While we don’t know how long the effectiveness of this vaccine works, it is possible that it will cause memory cells to retain information about the coronavirus for years or even decades.
So why is this vaccine so important? Not only does this vaccine have similar efficacy rates to the mRNA vaccines, but it is made without the use of PEG (polyethylene glycol). This allows more individuals who were limited to only receiving the J&J vaccine – because of their allergy to PEG – to receive a safe and effective vaccine.
The Novavax is a 2 shot vaccine that is spaced 3 weeks apart and unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, it can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. Remaining up to date on vaccination s- especially in the setting of inflammatory bowel disease – is incredibly important and will continue to be a strong recommendation in the practice of gastroenterology.
If you have any questions about the COVID vaccine or new or concerning GI complaints that you would like to discuss, please reach out to our clinic for evaluation at 224.407.4400.