Novavax Inc said recently it had started shipping doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union (EU) member states, with France, Austria and Germany expected to be the first to receive the shots in the coming days.
Shipments of Nuvaxovid to additional EU member states from the company’s Netherlands distribution centre are expected to quickly follow, adding to the stockpile of the region as it struggles with a surge in infections due to the Omicron variant.
Novavax’s recombinant protein vaccine uses a more established technology than mRNA, the novel method behind the two most commonly used COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The initial doses of Nuvaxovid were manufactured by Novavax’ partner the Serum Institute of India, the company said.
Public health leaders have voiced hopes that Novavax’s product could convince as-yet unvaccinated people who are sceptical about the novel mRNA technology to get a shot.
“Today’s announcement paves the way for vaccination with Nuvaxovid to begin in Europe within the coming days. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine provides a differentiated option to bolster vaccination rates across Europe,” Stanley Erck, Chief Executive Officer, Novavax, said.
The EU authorised the use of Novavax’s vaccine in people 18 years and older in December and has ordered 27 million doses for the first quarter of this year, as part of a contract for 100 million vaccines and another 100 million optional.