The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the Novavax vaccine for use in Australia in order to help protect people against COVID-19.
In a press conference yesterday, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that the TGA has approved the use of Novavax with a second approval needed from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
“We have 51 million units of Novavax that will be available,” he said.
“The next stage is ATAGI, and subject to their approval, it will then be made available over the coming weeks, with supply coming in to the country and to be distributed through states and territories, general practices, and pharmacies that seek to order it,”
“So that adds to the capacity.”
Head of TGA Professor John Skerritt added that Australian’s now have another option when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines
“We know there are some individuals who have been waiting for Novavax, and it’s great that it’s finally been approved,” he said.
“The clinical trial data for Novavax was quite impressive,”
“Two separate large clinical trials, which have been published internationally, showing over 90 per cent efficacy against symptomatic infection.”
As Professor Skerritt mentioned, many Australians have been holding out for this one as it is considerably different from other previous vaccines. According to an SBS explainer report “Novavax is a protein vaccine- it uses inert protein fragments of the COVID-19 virus to trigger the body’s immune response”.
Infectious Disease Expert Paul Griffin told SBS that the vaccines that are currently available in Australia all operate in a similar way.
“At the moment in this country, we’re using mRNA vaccines in form of Pfizer and Moderna, and also a viral vector vaccine AstraZeneca,” he said.
“What they do, essentially, is deliver the instructions to make the spike proteins- the part of the virus we want a response against.”
One such person who has been holding out for Novavax is a Queensland breast cancer survivor who told NewsCop that she’s had to be careful about vaccines due to her breast cancer history.
“I’m not an anti-vaxxer,” the source said.
“I’ve been waiting for it because my doctor advised me to wait for it.”
“It’s been my history [with breast cancer] because I’ve been a strong reactor to everything,”
“I don’t handle medicine or vaccines very well.”