Novavax vaccine approved for emergency use listing against covid-19

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The World Health Organisation on Friday granted emergency use listing to the 9th covid-19 vaccine, Novavax paving the way for its inclusion in the U.N.-backed program to get such vaccines to poorer countries around the world.

This could also mean the shots would be accepted to some countries that only admit travelers vaccinated with WHO-backed jabs.

The World Health Organisation’s EUL process assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a pre-requisite for COVAX vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India is producing the Novavax-developed vaccine and a big question is how much supply it can ship, and when. 

This vaccine was highly anticipated to help increase global vaccine supplies, as the shots require only refrigerated storage which is an appealing option for low-income countries compared to other vaccines such as AstraZeneca, which require very cold storage. 

Novavax was delayed for months because of problems lining up large-scale manufacturing. The full regimen requires two doses and has been given emergency use authorization in Indonesia and the Philippines. It also has applications pending with the European Medicines Agency and Britain. Novavax also plans to file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2021.

The company says it currently is testing how the shots efficacy against the omicron variant, and like other manufacturers, have begun formulating an updated version to better match omicron in case it is eventually needed.