Novavax now available at HHMP
After a long wait, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, also known as Nuvaxovid (Biocelect Pty Ltd/Novavax Inc) has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in a primary course of vaccination in people aged 18 years and older. At this stage it is NOT approved as a booster.
Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a spike protein-based vaccine (it is not an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna and does not contain any mRNA). Each 0.5mL dose contains 5 micrograms of the of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and 50 micrograms of Matrix-M as an adjuvant. Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults in a primary schedule, based on phase II-III clinical trials involving over 45,000 participants. The full ATAGI statement can be accessed here.
There has been a group of people in our community who have felt uncomfortable with the mRNA vaccines and have chosen to wait for the “more traditional” protein based vaccine. This group can now have access to Novavax locally to help get them fully vaccinated.
- ATAGI recommends that Novavax-COVID-19 vaccine can be used for the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination in people aged 18 years or older.
- The recommended schedule for administration is 2 doses, a minimum of 3 weeks apart.
- Contraindications to vaccination are anaphylaxis to a previous dose or to a component of the vaccine (e.g. polysorbate 80).
- There are no specific precautions for the use of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
- Novavax COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- ATAGI notes that unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for which there are substantial data on their safe use in pregnancy and with breastfeeding.
- There are no immunogenicity or safety data for these groups with the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
- However, there are no theoretical safety concerns relating its use in pregnancy.
- Similarly to other COVID-19 vaccines, is not a live vaccine.
- The vaccine can be administered to people with a prior history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in line with recommendations for other COVID-19 vaccines.
- People with severe immunocompromise are recommended to receive 3 primary doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines. Refer to the ATAGI statement on the use of a 3rd primary dose which is recommended at an interval of 2 months after the 2nd dose.
- Novavax COVID-19 vaccine can be administered as part of a heterologous (mixed) primary schedule to people who have received one or more doses of another COVID-19 vaccine, including as a third dose for people with severe immunocompromise.
- It is not currently recommended for use as a booster vaccine.
- It can be co-administered with other vaccines if required.
- With the flu season coming up, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered with other vaccines such as the flu vaccine.
- Patients should be aware that this may be associated with an increase in mild-moderate adverse events.
Making a Novavax COVD-19 vaccine booking
Novavax vaccination will occur at HHMP on Tuesday and Friday afternoons in the downstairs nursing treatment room.
Making a booking is simple and can be done by calling 02 9817 2080. We recommend you call the practice rather than book online so we can allocate you to an appropriate vaccination session. In order to prevent errors different vaccines are given at different times and different locations to maximise safety. You only need to book your first appointment as your second shot will be booked by the nurses during the consult.
Many appointments are available and there is no waiting list.
We continue to vaccinate children for their primary course as well as adults both for the primary course or for the booster dose. We encourage all those eligible for a booster to get one.