The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday authorized Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine for adults. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE
July 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday authorized Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to adults.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendation that the Novavax vaccine be used as an additional primary series for unvaccinated people aged 18 and older.
The CDC said the protein-based vaccine, differing from the messenger RNA technology used by Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines, will be available "in the coming weeks." The two-dose Novavax regimen is administered three weeks apart.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the only non-mRNA shot approved for use in the United States by the FDA, though it was limited in May to adults who cannot receive other versions of the vaccine due to a risk of thrombosis, which can cause rare but potentially life-threatening blood clots.
"Today, we have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated," said Walensky. "With COVID-19 cases on the rise again across parts of the country, vaccination is critical to help protect against the complications of severe COVID-19 disease."
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the authorization of the vaccine was "another step forward in our nation's fight against the virus," noting that there are now four COVID-19 vaccines available to the public.
"The science and data are clear: vaccines continue to protect people from serious illness, hospitalizations and death -- and with BA.5 increasing infections, it is essential that people get themselves and their kids vaccinated and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations," he said.