The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, providing another vaccine option for pandemic-hit Philippines.
FDA chief Eric Domingo made the announcement in press briefing aired on state-run PTV4 on Wednesday, November 17.
He also confirmed this to Rappler in a text message on Thursday night, November 18. “The brand name here is Covovax,” he said.
Domingo said that the vaccine is administered in two doses with a three- to four-week interval. It was approved for use on adults 18 and above.
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is the ninth vaccine to become available for Philippine use.
Novavax earlier claimed that its protein-based vaccine was more than 93% effective against the more easily transmissible predominant coronavirus variants, such as Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, that have caused concern among scientists and public health officials.
Protein-based vaccines are a conventional approach that use purified pieces of the virus to spur an immune response, such as those used against whooping cough and shingles.
The vaccine was 91% effective among volunteers at high risk of severe infection and 100% effective in preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. It was roughly 70% effective against virus variants that Novavax was unable to identify, its head of research and development, Dr. Gregory Glenn said.
Novavax said a single booster shot of its vaccine given six months after an initial two-dose regimen, elicited a 4.6-fold increase in antibodies.
The country earlier cleared the vaccines of Pfizer and BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Gamaleya Research Institute, J&J, Bharat Biotech, Sinopharm, and Moderna for emergency use in the country. – With reports from Reuters/Rappler.com