Maryland-based Novavax to sell more COVID vaccines to US government

The U.S. government will stop buying COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers later this year, but Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax has secured a new deal to sell the government another 1.5 million doses of its protein-based vaccine ahead of vaccine privatization.

Novavax did not disclose financial details of its latest agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, but said it will support development of smaller dose vials, strain selection in line with Food and Drug Administration recommendations, and a smooth transition to the commercial market.

“This agreement acknowledges the need to offer the American people a diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio and underscores the importance of Novavax’s partnership with the U.S. government to ensure continuous access to a protein-based option as part of public health measures,” said Novavax president and CEO John Jacobs.

Novavax views its vaccine as an option for people reluctant to receive the mRNA-based vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

It also has the advantage of being safely stored at a much higher refrigeration temperature on mRNA-based vaccines.

Its vaccine has emergency-use approval for adults 18 and older, and in adolescents 12 to 17 as a primary vaccine, and as a first booster dose six months after primary vaccination.

The U.S. government purchased 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine last July.

Novavax began developing its COVID vaccine in 2020 with government funding, but its vaccine did not receive final emergency-use approval until July 2022.

The company cut its sales forecast last year on slower-than-expected sales.

The federal government will end its program to buy vaccines at a reduced price from manufacturers later this year, with the cost of vaccines shifting to health insurance providers, though insured Americans will still be eligible for shots at no cost after COVID vaccines are commercialized.

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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