Protein-based Novavax coronavirus vaccine simple and a likely pandemic game-changer

A protein-based vaccine platform used for decades to guard against hepatitis and shingles could be a pandemic game changer.

Novavax is preparing to seek approval of their protein-based vaccine for COVID-19. And, in a user-friendly development, it comes with no major side effects.

That means no headaches, fevers, nausea or chills associated with mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

The journal Nature reports the Maryland company has already filed for use in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, and Indonesia just awarded emergency use authorization.

“The phase 3 trial results look very promising,” said Dr. Davidson Hamer, professor of global health and medicine at Boston University and a physician at Boston Medical Center.

“It uses a more basic strategy and that may be reassuring to those who are hesitant,” Hamer told the Herald Monday. “It’s very encouraging.”

The journal Nature also said the Novavax vax could help some of the world’s poorer countries because this vaccine is cheaper to produce and distribute.

“The world needs these protein-based vaccines to reach those vulnerable populations,” Nick Jackson said in the Nature article. He is head of programs and innovative technologies at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which has invested more than $1 billion in five protein-based COVID-19 vaccines in active development.

He added: “Protein vaccines are going to beckon in a new era of COVID-19 immunization.”

The news hits as the number of coronavirus cases keep rising in Europe.

As of Monday, 5.05 million people have died during the pandemic from the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University map of the virus. The number of infections has topped 250 million, according to that map.

The top 10 hardest-hit countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Germany, India, Romania, Brazil and Iran, the site states.

The Novavax vaccine is 90% effective, a trial found, but that was before the delta variant arrived, Nature reports.

The Novavax jab could also give those seeking a booster an option and the mix-and-match of vaccines has become more popular as experts say it offers even more protection.

The Novavax vaccine contains the spike protein of the coronavirus itself, but formulated as a nanoparticle, which cannot cause disease, according to published reports.

And, it is one of the vaccines already approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for air travel in the U.S., giving the 30,000 in the trial for the jab a passport to move around.

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