Novavax Covid Vaccine: a new competitor to mRNA based vaccines?

October 22, 2023

Novavax’s Covid booster shot was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first protein vaccine to be authorized in more than a year for targeting SARS-CoV-2. 

Alongside the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it targets XBB.1.5 variant, a descendant of Omicron, and it might become a preferred substitute for the hesitant population to mRNA vaccines, that have been globally popular during the pandemic. 

Novavax seems to provide similar efficacy to the mRNA vaccines, one drawback being the longer time which takes to be upgraded for protection against new variants. 

“It also has fewer side effects, including muscle fatigue and nausea, in the first 48 hours after vaccination. If people have had a side effect with an mRNA vaccine, I’d say try a protein subunit [vaccine],” says vaccinologist Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic.