Novavax cleared to boost Australians over 18 years

By Melissa Coade

March 4, 2022

Novavax vaccine vial
Novavax is now recommended for Australians 18 years and over wanting a booster where an mRNA shot is not suitable. (Tom/Adobe)

Novavax, the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), is now recommended for Australians 18 years and over wanting a booster where an mRNA shot is not suitable.

“Protein vaccines use a non-infectious protein component of the virus manufactured in a laboratory. After vaccination, immune cells recognise the vaccine protein as foreign and launch an immune response against it,” a statement from ATAGI read.

In Australia – one of the most vaccinated countries in the world – more than 25,000 people have already received a first dose of Novavax since its approval in February. The government has secured 51 million doses of the vaccine for its vaccine roll out.

ATAGI announced provisional approval of Novavax as a COVID booster option this week.

“[Novavax] has been proven safe and effective in protecting against severe illness or death associated with COVID-19 infection, with clinical trial data showing a robust immune response providing around 90 per cent protection from infection,” the advisory group said.

An application to extend the use of the Novavax shot to a wider age group is currently being considered by ATAGI, as is its use as a booster following a two-dose course of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine or the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Emerging evidence on all COVID-19 vaccines are being continually reviewed by the TGA and ATAGI.

More than 11.6 million Australians have received a booster dose and it was one of the first countries to commence a whole-of-population booster program. About 94.5% of Australians have completed a primary course of COVID-19 vaccination.

The federal government continues to urge all Australians who are eligible for their primary course of vaccination against COVID-19, or their booster shot, to make a booking to do so as soon as possible. 


Three vaccination doses to be considered ‘up-to-date’: ATAGI

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