Novavax passes first hurdle in New Zealand vaccine rollout

New Zealand is one step closer to deploying a Novavax protein-based COVID-19 vaccine called Nuvaxovid, which has been approved by the national drug regulator Medsafe. Provisional approval For vaccines used by adults over the age of 18.

Medsafe Group Manager Chris James announced the decision on February 4, “While efforts were made to prioritize and urgently review COVID-19 vaccine applications, all drug applications were previously received. We maintain the same scrutiny as we did. ” You can approve it. “

“Medsafe only approves the use of vaccines or medicinal products in New Zealand if they are confirmed to meet acceptable standards for quality, safety and efficacy,” James said in the release.

Provisional approval means that the Government of Ardan needs to decide whether to approve the use of the Nuvaxovid vaccine in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health states that the Minister is seeking guidance on this from the COVID-19 Vaccine Science and Technology Advisory Group.

This brings the total number of vaccines approved Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, Cominarty, is intended for adults over 12 years of age and also includes vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca and Janssen.

Currently, Moderna’s Spikevax is not approved by Medsafe and has no purchase agreement with the Ardern government. report COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins is considering the government’s use of Nuvaxovid as part of the country’s booster program in September 2021, and the Arden government has arranged about 10 million purchases. He said he was doing it.

“We confirmed to them that we could procure Novavax in the first quarter of next year if needed for booster campaigns, and the preliminary information we are getting from tech experts (and that’s just an ongoing discussion). That’s what they think Novavax is well-formed as a New Zealand option, “Hypkins said.

The vaccine is given twice every 21 days. It is considered by many to be a reliable vaccine because it uses old technology to manufacture the inoculum.

February 4th, according to Novavax releaseThe vaccine is designed from the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the gene sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

Next, Novavax scientists used the company’s recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate an antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein, a Novavax patented saponin-based Matrix-M ™ adjuvant. Formulates to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralization. antibody.

New Zealand officials are working with Novavax to consider delivering the vaccine in the first quarter of 2022.

Stanley C, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax. Erck thanked Medsafe officials for the vaccine review and said it was a thorough evaluation.

“Thanks to Medsafe for a thorough review. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we continue to support New Zealand and the world in the fight against COVID-19,” Erck said.

Victoria Kelly Clark


Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian-based reporter focusing on the national political and geopolitical environment of the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.