Covid: The first deliveries of the Novavax vaccines postponed to late February in France

Published by Manon C., Laurent P. · Published on 19 January 2022 at 09h16
Granted marketing authorizatoin by the European Medicines Agency and the Haute Autorité de Santé, Nuvaxovid, aka Novavax's "subunit" vaccine, which was expected to be delivered in France as early as the beginning of February, is eventually to be delivered from the end of February 2022.

The fight against Covid goes on through vaccines… This Monday December 20, the European Medicines Agency announced they have approved marketing authorization of Nuvaxovid, the vaccine developed by American laboratory Novavax, after assessing results from phase 3 of the clinical trials. It joins the other four vaccines approved by the European regulator on the market, namely Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

The approval has been confirmed in mid-January by the Haute Autorité de Santé, the French regulator stating the vaccine could be a "useful alternative" for people the most difficult to convince about vaccines. But, whilst the Health Minister announced France will get "3.2 million doses" in the first quarter of the year, and has given an option for "3.2 million extra doses" in the second quarter of the year, specifying the first injections will be given from early February, or even late January, delays have been announced this Tuesday January 18, 2022, at a weekly press brief.

According to the Health Minister, the first deliveries are now expected from "the last week of February" although the "exact date" is not known yet. All European countries are to be supplied on the same day. As for orders, the minister says France will first receive "a relatively limited amount of doses, between 1.1 and 1.2 million doses for this first shipping". Then, 800,000 doses are expected every week from March.

For the record, this vaccine is a bit different from the other vaccines available on the market… And for good reason: it is said to be “subunit”, namely based on “purified pieces of microbes or treated toxins” as the INSERM explains. Generally, vaccines are better tolerated than inactivated viral vector vaccines, but they can deliver a lower immune response.

Anyway, this could be a way to convince people still not willing to get vaccinated… According to Novavax CEO Stanley Erck, this vaccine “could help overcome key barriers to global vaccination, including the challenges of global distribution and vaccine hesitancy”.

As for results from the clinical trial, they were very encouraging. This past June, data showed the vaccine was 90.4% effective, and even 100% in mild to severe disease. The efficacy is being reassessed by the laboratory because of the Omicron variant; and they are working on a special and more effective version against this very strain.

As for the European Union, they have already ordered 200 million doses to give them to State Members.

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