CDC director authorizes Novavax COVID shot for adults
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky authorized the use of Novavax’s COVID vaccine as a primary series for adults 18 and over on Tuesday.
Driving the news: Walensky's endorsement of the CDC's panel recommendation makes the Novavax vaccine the fourth COVID shot authorized for use in the U.S.
- Earlier Tuesday, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 12-0 to recommend the vaccine, removing a key hurdle for one of America's first big bets under Operation Warp Speed.
Background: Novavax won $1.6 billion in federal backing in 2020.
- Its vaccine uses a protein from the target virus combined with what's called an adjuvant to enhance the body's immune response.
- The FDA this month issued an emergency use authorization for the shot after a staff review found it was 90% effective at preventing new cases in a clinical trial, though it carried the possible risk of causing heart inflammation in some patients.
Go deeper: Regulators believe Novavax represents a non-mRNA COVID vaccine that can serve as a first-line defense and persuade some unvaccinated people to get the shots.