CDC Recommends Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents
On Monday, Aug. 22, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., signed a decision memo that Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as another primary series option for adolescents ages 12 through 17.
This recommendation follows FDA’s authorization to authorize the vaccine for this age group under emergency use. Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is available now, is an important tool in the pandemic and provides a more familiar type of COVID-19 vaccine technology for adolescents. Having multiple types of vaccines offers more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions, and vaccine providers.
Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine packages harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus alongside another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future. Vaccines—like the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine—that use protein subunit technology have been used for more than 30 years in the United States, beginning with the first licensed hepatitis B vaccine. Other protein subunit vaccines used in the United States today include those to protect against influenza and whooping cough (acellular pertussis).
For more information on COVID vaccines, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Dose Vaccine
The FDA is expected to soon authorize and the CDC is expected to recommend two new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines. Both Pfizer's and Moderna's so-called bivalent vaccines were developed to target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, as well the original coronavirus strain, in a single shot. BA.5 is currently responsible for nearly 90% of all new Covid cases in the U.S., according to the CDC.
It is anticipated the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines will only be authorized as a single dose in people who have completed a primary vaccination series but would not vary by number or type of prior booster doses received. Initial bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses will include:
- Pfizer for individuals 12 years of age and older
- Moderna for individuals 18 years of age and older
Additional information on these vaccines will be available after FDA Emergency Use Authorization approval and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations are signed by the CDC director. Both are expected in the next several weeks.