FDA Approves Emergency Use for Novavax COVID Vaccine

Photo: Getty Images [via NBC]

The Facts

  • On Wed., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use authorization for Novavax's COVID vaccine. The approval provides a fourth vaccine option for American adults who have not yet received their first dose of any other vaccine.

  • Novavax's vaccine uses a protein-based formula while the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA-based.

The Spin

Narrative A

Vaccine conspiracy theories tragically stigmatized mRNA jabs for millions of people in America. An "old school" protein-based jab, similar to the flu shot, could have more appeal to the unvaccinated. US officials bet the farm on mRNA products, and it's wise to offer consumers alternatives.

Narrative B

Novavax is a latecomer to the COVID vaccine landscape, and its early production fumbles were costly. The market is already well established by Pfizer and Moderna in the US, and whether its non-mRNA formula will be accepted by entrenched vaccine skeptics remains very much to be seen.

Nerd narrative

There's an 84% chance that the US, UK, or EU will authorize an Omicron-specific booster before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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