Vaccine Central

4th coronavirus vaccine headed to US; scientists say shot could end pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A fourth coronavirus vaccine is making its way to the United States.

Health experts say the vaccine, Covavax, is the most effective to date showing protection against the original COVID-19 strain, but also against variants of concern.

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Researchers from 113 sites across the country assessed 29,000 infected patients. Results of the study showed it was 100% effective against the original SARs-CoV-2 and 93% against the alpha and delta strains, both of which are on the World Health Organization’s list of variants of concern.

But what’s so special about Covavax compared to Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson?

Dr. Stephaun Wallace, who leads the global external relations strategies COVID-19 Prevention Network at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, receives his second injection from Dr. Tia Babu during the the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial at the UW Virology Research Clinic on Feb. 12, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

“What they are doing is producing a protein that is immunogenic, which seems to be a stable part of the coronavirus as the virus mutates,” Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health, told News 8. “Their proprietary piece helps [the vaccine] to be delivered into the human body and allows the immune system to recognize it effectively and develop a robust response.”

Not only does Covavax offer high protection, Doehring says, but side effects are milder compared to other vaccines. Reported side effects include tenderness at the injection site, headache and slight fatigue. On average, symptoms lasted for three days.

The European Union has sealed a deal with the pharmaceutical company responsible for developing the vaccine, Novavax. They will be purchasing 200 million doses, which is a two-shot protocol, of the vaccine. 

Novavax is expected to apply for emergency use authorization in the U.S. by the end of the year.


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