New Novavax COVID-19 vaccine authorized, available "in the coming days"

Originally published at: New Novavax COVID-19 vaccine authorized, available "in the coming days" | Boing Boing

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I should have gotten a booster shot about two weeks ago. Dammit. Oh well, at least I qualify for Paxlovid. So far, COVID bout #2 is not as bad as round 1.


Thanks for the article link on Matrix-M. Is that the primary reason there’s been such a swell of desire for this version of the vaccine? I have gotten Pfizer for all 5 of my shots, including the most recent a few days after the newest became available. Besides a slight bit of achiness, which is pretty much standard for me on a flu vaccine, I’ve thankfully never had a reaction. I’ve spent a little bit of time looking into Novavax and really don’t see why it’s being so desired over another, other than perhaps “Pfizer evil”, which I completely agree with, having done a paper on them and J&J’s many many lawsuits and issues as part of my degree during the lockdowns.


Because mRNA will “scrRAMBle mA DnA!” or some other ill-informed nonsense. Top hit for “novavax vs moderna vs pfizer” is Novavax’s site: “For adults who can’t get or don’t want an mRNA booster.” Novavax is marketing specifically around the fear of mRNA. As long as it increases vaccination rates and is effective, we’re good.


It’s a traditional vaccine that delivers Covid-19 viral proteins, as opposed to being mRNA based. As such, it’s appealing to people who are skeptical of the mRNA vaccines, and while some of that skepticism is based on ridiculous fearmongering, it’s not wholly unreasonable to be skeptical about the long-term efficacy of mRNA vaccines or their potential side effects, since this is the first time mRNA vaccines have been administered outside of clinical trials. They’re also significantly more shelf-stable than mRNA vaccines.

As I understand it, there’s evidence of increased side-effects from mRNA vaccines for people with some autoimmune disorders, and possibly also a more general increase in non-severe side-effects (e.g. short term, unpleasant but not debilitating reactions). Anecdotally, I was in the original Novovax trial and couldn’t really tell based on my reaction when I got the placebo vs the non-placebo dose, but I got “covid arm” from my Moderna booster and had a couple weeks of more or less constant itching and inflammation. Not a huge problem, and certainly not a reason to choose no vaccine over vaccine, but if one vaccine causes it and one doesn’t, I’d rather have the one that doesn’t.

To be completely clear, there’s no evidence that the mRNA vaccines are dangerous, they’ve proven to be effective in at least the short term, they’re not a secret bioweapon that’s going to kill everyone, and if your choice is Pfizer/Moderna or no vaccine, get Pfizer/Moderna. But there are at least debatable, evidence-based reasons to prefer a more traditional vaccine if one is available.


is there anything to hearsay that Novavax is better at preventing initial infection? like my understanding with the mRNA vaccines is that when the vaccine perfectly matches the strain, it really can help you avoid getting infected, and as the strain evolves you lose that and just rely on some general ‘immune readiness’ for covid.

whereas something about how the novavax vaccine is structured makes it provide a stronger protection for actual initial infection even right now after all these circulating variants and stuff?

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I’m not sure if any studies have been published in those areas or not. It’s probably going to be some time before we have a strong understanding of all of the tradeoffs between mRNA and traditional vaccines, and it may be that it’s different depending on the type of virus.

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here’s a good thread that talks about Novavax providing longer lasting immunity.

here’s one about how Novavax shrinks antigenic distance. the thread explains: “Using Matrix-M translates into an improved magnitude and quality of the antibody response to the Spike protein (antigen) and importantly broadened recognition of locations on the Spike (epitopes).”

I’m all for both mRNA AND Novavax – both are better than no vaccine. I was sold on the fact that Nova probably provides longer lasting immunity, and the adjuvant Matrix-M seems to be better able to handle a wider range of variants.

I’m not a doctor, this isn’t medical advice.


Great info here - thanks to the responder of my questions as well as the others.

I agree - having BOTH available is the best. Why not have multiple ways to defend, if that is possible? I’d prefer to keep as many people alive as we can, and having options makes that happen.

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And as for actually getting vaccinated, not both, but rather one or the other, right?

Or are some of those who are getting the recent Pfizer or Moderna boosters also getting this Novavax one?

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From my understanding, you should only get one or the other. If someone got the latest Pfizer or Moderna, they’d have to wait 6 months or more to get Novavax. I got an entire new primary series of Novavax (2 shots a month apart, and then a booster 6 months later), but I started all of the novavax over a year after my last Pfizer. Since I had Novavax in June, I’ll wait a couple more months and then take the new Novavax. The new authorization of Novavax, though, allows everyone to get Novavax regardless of what previous vax they’ve had.

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So now I’m confused.

We’re waiting till the end of October for boosters. We’ve had all Pfizer but I’m interested in Novavax.

Do I need two shots of Novavax to switch over or just one booster?

Of course I always talk to my doctors first but I’m also trying to wade through mono vs bivalent.

I mean bivalent is better than monovalent, right?

Or it doesn’t matter because the original strain is no longer relevant?

Where’s the comparison chart like when I buy some software or a new stove?


I think we saw from all the MMR fuss that sparked off this whole new era of anti-vaccination panic, that validating the crazy by providing an “alternative” (In that case, single vaccines, rather than the combined MMR) only served to confirm the conspiracy theories, rather than dispel them, and led to lower vaccination rates overall.


None of the new vaccines are being called “boosters” – since they are targeting a new strain that was so different than the original strains that the original vaccines and the bivalent boosters were targeting. I started a whole new novavax series a year ago, and now I’ll be getting the new novavax as well. I’m not sure how to answer your question, but from what I’ve heard from folks who have been researching Novavax, they’re saying to get the updated Novavax that will be available very soon, and then you’ll be on a schedule where you can just get Novavax boosters every six months to a year.

COVID-19 is still rapidly evolving, as evidenced by the fact that all of the new COVID vaccines are targeted towards the recent XBB variants and not the COVID variants of years past.

This is extremely likely to continue, in perpetuity, like what we call “the flu” (originally H1N1) but which has been an ever-mutating series of various strains that change yearly, and which there are different, yearly vaccinations for. It is extremely likely that all of us will need to get vaccinated yearly against new mutations for both COVID and Influenza strains.

The latest Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax vaccines have all shown substantial efficacy against death and serious illness against current COVID strains.

New information may come to light, but the best COVID vaccine to have is one that is already in your arm. While Novavax unquestionably has been found to provide substantial protection against COVID, and I would have no issue getting it as my yearly COVID shot, I worry that this article is unnecessarily alarmist against the mRNA vaccines, and might keep people from getting an effective vaccine that is conveniently available near them.

All three approved vaccines have been unquestionably shown to be excellent, and it is likely that whichever vaccine you get you will need an update in a year’s time. Just get the vax.


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