The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday backed the use of Novavax’s COVID-19 shot as a booster for adults, ahead of an anticipated rise in infections this winter.
The vaccine, Nuvaxovid, is designed to target the strain of the virus that originally emerged in China. The EMA’s recommendation is for people who previously were inoculated with either the Novavax shot, or any other COVID vaccine.
Separately on Thursday, the EMA backed two separate COVID-19 vaccine boosters updated to target the Omicron variant of the virus.
Developed by Moderna and the team of Pfizer and BioNTech, the new so-called bivalent shots combat the BA.1 version of Omicron and the original virus first detected in China.
Novavax’s Nuvaxovid made its debut well after first set of COVID-19 shots – including those from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – were approved in different parts of the world.
The hope was Nuvaxovid would incentivise people who were sceptical of some shots based on the newer mRNA technology to get vaccinated, given Nuvaxovid relies on technology that has been used for decades to combat diseases including hepatitis B and influenza.
However, demand has been tepid. Last month, the U.S. vaccine maker Novavax cut its annual revenue forecast by half, on limited demand for its shot as a primary course.
As a booster for people who have previously received other vaccines, it could still offer the potential of a broader spectrum of protection, some experts have suggested.
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