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EU approves fifth anti-COVID vaccine

| 2021-12-21 < 1 min read

EU approves fifth anti-COVID vaccine

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The European Commission (EC) granted conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the Nuvaxovid jab on Monday after it was greenlit by the European Medicines Agency. The US-developed vaccine joins Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson on the list of EU-approved jabs. 

“This is our first protein-based vaccine”, Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety noted. Epidemiologists hope that the protein-based “dead vaccine” will attract people who have shunned the novel mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and the viral vector vaccines made by Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. While those four simulate a virus in the body, Nuvaxovid uses a more traditional type of technology, The Guardian wrote, adding that it has been found to have an efficacy of over 90% in preventing symptomatic infection with the Alpha variant.

The rollout of the vaccine has been repeatedly hampered by a series of lengthy delays including production issues. With CMA status, Novavax will now be able to deliver up to 100 million of their COVID-19 vaccine to the EU starting from the first quarter of 2022. EU member states have so far ordered around 27 million doses for the first quarter. 

The EC noted that Nuvaxovid “will add to the total amount of 2.4 billion of the vaccine by BioNTech/Pfizer, 460 million doses of the vaccine by Moderna, 400 million by AstraZeneca as well as 400 million doses by Johnson & Johnson”. The contract also allows EU member states to buy an additional 100 million doses over the course of 2022 and 2023, the EC announced.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen said “this is the fifth safe and effective vaccine of our vaccine portfolio… May this authorisation offer a strong encouragement to everyone who has not yet been vaccinated or boosted.”