What you need to know about the Novavax covid vaccine

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NEW ORLEANS — Following a clinical trial in the United States and Mexico, Novavax, a small American company, announced Monday morning promising results for their covid vaccine.

“It was very efficacious. It was over 90% efficacy for preventing the disease and it was 100% efficacious for prevention of moderate or severe disease,” said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Medical Director for Emergency Management at LCMC Health.

The two-dose vaccine is similar to the Pfizer vaccine, where the second shot is administered three weeks after the first, but how Novavax differs from the other vaccines is how it’s stored.

“What’s good about this vaccine is it doesn’t require freezing, so it can stay in the refrigerator for a significant amount of time. That will make it much easier to transport. It will also make it much easier to have and distribute around the world,” said Dr. Elder.

Dr. Elder adds while it would be great to get another vaccine authorized for the United States, he says we still haven’t used the supply we have while other countries are in dire need.

“In other parts of the world, vaccines just aren’t available at all yet in large numbers, and so I think this will give short term is yet the ability to have another vaccine out there in the world, in large numbers. That will get many more people across the globe vaccinated,” said Dr. Elder.

Some unnvaccinated folks we spoke with said they’d try the new vaccine.

“I would be willing to, I don’t like the one shot ones, I heard you get really sick from those. I actually read an article about the Novavax vaccine a couple days ago. It sounds like it’s going to work,” said Angel Bray.

While others said they’re still wary.

“I don’t need it. I don’t trust it. We can’t come up with a cure for cancer and other types of stuff but in a year we can make a vaccine? I just, I don’t know about it,” said Nicholas Matherne.

Like the other vaccines, the side-effects of Novavax are relatively mild, including fatigue and a low-grade fever, but it’s proven to cause less soreness in the injection site.

The manufacturers of the Novavax vaccine are expected to apply for emergency use authorization in September, but it won’t be available until later this year.

Dr. Elder says if the vaccine becomes more widely available to countries struggling with covid cases, it will help eliminate variant strains across the globe.

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