Novavax COVID vaccine gets support from FDA advisory panel

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax has received overwhelming support from an independent Food and Drug Administration advisory panel for authorization of its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

Novavax is a latecomer to the COVID vaccine arsenal, but its approval would make a more traditional vaccine available to those who are reluctant to receive one of the mRNA vaccines that have already been approved and are in circulation.

The FDA will now formally decide whether to grant the vaccine emergency use approval. The agency is not required to follow the advisory panel’s recommendations, but has frequently done so in the past.

If approved, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have the final say on recommending the vaccine’s use, which would allow it to become widely available.

The advisory panel’s recommendation comes after an FDA brief last week where concerns were raised about potential heart problems with the Novavax vaccine, though it was still supportive of the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Novavax began developing its vaccine in 2020, after receiving $1.6 billion from Operation Warp Speed. Its vaccine is already approved and being used in several other countries.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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