San Diego County adults looking for a more traditional vaccine against COVID-19 will soon be able to get Novavax, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced.
Novavax, which is currently being used around the world, will be available in the region as soon as this weekend, County health officials said.
The vaccine was developed using protein-based technology, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been using for decades to treat diseases such as hepatitis B, shingles and human papillomavirus. The vaccine presents a specific portion of the virus, which the body generates immunity against.
Novavax has been authorized as a two-dose primary series, given three to eight weeks apart, to people ages 18 and older. Clinical trials showed that the vaccine is 90% effective at preventing mild, moderate and severe COVID-19.
“This is yet another vaccine we have to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially now that we’re seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “San Diegans now have another safe choice to prevent serious complications from COVID.”
Clinical trials showed Novavax does not cause severe side effects. Reactions were mild and like those rare effects seen from COVID-19 vaccines using the mRNA technology, such as pain, tenderness, redness and swelling at the injection site.
Novavax is expected to be available at local healthcare providers, retail pharmacies, community clinics and County public health centers and community vaccination events.
Everyone 6 months and older can get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost. For those who received an mRNA vaccine, boosters are available for people 5 years and older. Parental consent is required for all eligible minors to be vaccinated.