by Photo courtesy of Novavax

A new COVID-19 vaccine that uses protein-based technology will soon be available to San Diego County adults this weekend, the County Health and Human Services Agency recently announced. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the two-dose primary series of  Novavax COVID-19, Adjuvanted, following a unanimous vote from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It has been authorized for individuals 18 years and older.

The CDC’s endorsement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an emergency use authorization for the Novavax COVID-19,Adjuvanted vaccine, the fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States. Other available vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson. 

The protein-based vaccine is engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of COVID-19 and was formulated to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies with an ingredient called an adjuvant. According to Novavax, the vaccine contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate nor can it cause COVID-19. 

Clinical trials have shown 90.4 percent effectiveness in preventing mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. 

“This is yet another vaccine we have to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially now that we're seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations,'' said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer.”San Diegans now have another safe choice to prevent serious complications from COVID.''

The vaccination regimen calls for two 0.5 ml doses administered 21 days apart. The vaccines are ready-to-use liquid formation in 10-dose vials that can be stored at approximately 35 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Common side effects of the vaccine include pain or tenderness at the injection site, fatigue, pain, and headaches. A small percentage of people experienced fevers, according to Novavax.  

According to county health officials, Novavax is expected to become available to local healthcare providers, retail pharmacies, community clinics County public health centers, and community vaccination events. 

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