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The Villages
Saturday, December 3, 2022

First conventional COVID-19 vaccine approved for ages 18-up

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

The U.S. Food and Drug administration and CDC have authorized the Novavax vaccine as the first conventional COVID-19 vaccine (New York Times, July 20, 2022). The U.S. government has purchased 3.2 million doses of the vaccine so far.

The newly-approved Novavax vaccine uses the same type of technology that was used in the U.S. for previous vaccines such as flu, whooping cough, hepatitis B and shingles. It combines harmless proteins from the COVID-19 virus with an adjuvant that augments a person’s immunity to fight off the virus. Studies in the U.S., Britain and Mexico have reported that the Novovax vaccine produces protective antibodies against the Omicron-BA.5 virus, the most-common COVID-19 virus in the U.S. today.

The previous Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines based on an entirely new technology developed since the start of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 80 percent of U.S. adults have received two injections of the messenger RNA vaccines and 51 percent have received one or more booster doses. However, 26 to 37 million adults have not received a single dose of these messenger RNA vaccines.

So far, research has shown that the messenger RNA vaccines appear to be safe, but there is a minority of people who feel that we have not waited long enough to find out if there is any long-term harm from the messenger RNA vaccines. Hopefully, the new Novavax vaccine will encourage these people to be vaccinated.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com

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