Santa Clara County announced Tuesday that it has acquired the new Novavax Covid-19 vaccine and will begin administering the vaccine at all County Health System vaccination sites on Aug. 2.
Unlike the currently available Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that use an mRNA-based approach to developing immunity, Novavax uses traditional protein-based technology, says a press release from Santa Clara County. Both types of vaccines are considered safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death from Covid-19.
As with its predecessors, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Novavax vaccine is administered in two doses provided three to eight weeks apart. The newly CDC-approved vaccine is a viable first series option for adults 18 and older in Santa Clara County.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not approve the vaccine for use as a booster, according to the county. The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine can serve as an alternative for the small percentage of people who are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine due to a history of allergic reactions.
The Novavax inoculation does not contain preservatives, latex, metals, antibiotics, tissues such as aborted fetal cells, gelatin, or any materials from any animal, or food proteins such as eggs or egg products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, nut products or any nut byproducts, says the press release.
“The county has received our initial shipment of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine and it is available to those who are eligible,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “Adding the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine to our inventory adds another option to assist us in reaching those Santa Clara County residents who still remain unvaccinated.”
People are encouraged to check with their primary physician about receiving the initial Novavax Covid-19 vaccination series. Those without a primary healthcare provider or who are having difficulty finding an appointment can go through sccfreevax.org for an appointment.