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COVID-19 jab: The lesser-known vaccine that could play a key role in Australia

Article image for COVID-19 jab: The lesser-known vaccine that could play a key role in Australia

COVID-19 vaccine discussion in Australia has focused on the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs, but the nation’s third, little discussed vaccine, could play a major role in the immunisation program.

The Australian government has done a deal for 51 million shots of Novavax, and early clinical data on the vaccine has shown promising results.

Head of the vaccine and immunisation research group at Doherty Institute and Murdoch Children’s Institute, Professor Terry Nolan, says testing of the jab is behind other vaccines at the moment, but it’s looking hopeful.

“The data for … Novavax, is a fair way behind the others yet,” he told Ross and Russel.

“One of the reasons why Novavax is a bit slower is that they had some issues with showing the FDA, the American regulator, that their manufacturing practice was on stream and of the very high standard which was required.”

Phase one trials of the vaccine show it produced a similar immune response to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and phase three trials began on December 28.

There is some evidence that the jab could not only prevent the spread of COVID-19, but could also stop the spread of the virus.

If the Novavax jab is rolled out in Australia, it won’t be produced domestically.

“CSL have said they haven’t got capacity for it,” Professor Nolan said.

“It would be produced by one of their international contractors.”

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