Australians aged 18+ will now have access to a fourth COVID-19 vaccine, Nuvaxovid (Novavax) in coming weeks, after the Australian Government accepted advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) that it be included in the rollout program.
The recommendations from ATAGI follow Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), provisionally approving the Novavax vaccine for us in Australia.
ATAGI has recommended the Novavax vaccine be given in two doses, at least three weeks apart.
Australia has purchased 51 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Samples of the Novavax vaccines are set to arrive in Australia in early February to enable TGA batch testing.
Subject to successful TGA batch testing, the Novavax vaccine will be available to be administered from the week of 21 February 2022.
Australians will be able to access a Novavax vaccine through general practices, community pharmacies, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Commonwealth vaccination centres, and state and territory clinics.
All primary care vaccine providers, who are currently participating in the vaccine rollout have already received an expression of interest to administer Novavax.
The vaccine is only approved by the TGA for use in a primary course of vaccination. Studies for its use as a booster dose and in paediatric patients are ongoing. The vaccine does not have regulatory approval for these purposes at this stage.
ATAGI recommends the Novavax vaccine can be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women. It also advises the vaccine can be used for people who are severely immunocompromised and who are recommended to receive three doses for their primary course of vaccination.
ATAGI has noted the vaccine has been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults.
Novavax is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Australia after Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Spikevax (Moderna), and Comirnaty (Pfizer).
Australia is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world against COVID-19, with more than 48 million COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country and over 95% of Australians 16+ having received a first dose.
If you are due for your first, second or booster shot, or have kids aged 5+ book a COVID-19 vaccine today at Australia.gov.au
Original content from The Hon Greg Hunt MP media page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.