Novavax COVID vaccine in its first batch arrives in Australia
The first shipment of the Novavax COVID vaccine arrived in Australia last night ahead of the rollout later this month.
The shipment, containing about 3 million doses, landed in Sydney airport from Singapore. Another 48 million more are expected to arrive over the coming weeks to make up Australia’s full order of 51 million doses.
Novavax is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine approved for administration in Australia.
The Theraputic Goods Association (TGA) has cleared Novavax for anyone over the age of 18. It is available to be used as a first and second dose, but at this stage it is not possible to book in for a booster.
MRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna, and viral vector vaccines such as AstraZeneca, have been shown to be safe and effective at protecting people against COVID-19.
However, TGA head John Skerritt acknowledged a very small section of the community had been hesitant about those vaccines in particular, and expressed a preference for the Novavax formula.
The government says part of the reason it has made Novavax available is to offer more choice to those who cannot or do not wish to get existing coronavirus vaccines.
“For some who may have had contraindications or reactions with regards to other vaccines, this will provide an additional opportunity for them, as well as those who for whatever reason have not taken up the program so far,” Mr Hunt said.
“But I do want to encourage everyone, unless there’s a contraindication, please continue to come forward and take the existing vaccines.”
The vaccine will be supplied to GPs, pharmacies and state hubs across the country, and will be available from February 21.
However federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says they first have to undergo batch testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. “Subject to successful batch testing, the Novavax vaccine will be available to be administered,” he said.
The TGA has approved Novavax for use in a two-dose course, with the two jabs being administered 21 days apart.
Original content from ABC News. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.