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Coronavirus

US regulators OK new COVID-19 shot option from Gaithersburg-based Novavax

The U.S. is getting another COVID-19 vaccine choice as the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday cleared Novavax shots for adults.

Novavax, based in Gaithersburg, makes a more traditional type of shot than the three other COVID-19 vaccines available for use in the U.S. — and one that’s already available in Europe and other countries.

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Nearly a quarter of American adults still haven’t gotten their primary vaccinations even this late in the pandemic, and experts expect at least some of them to roll up their sleeves for a more conventional option — a protein-based vaccine.

The Maryland company also hopes its shots can become a top booster choice in the U.S. and beyond. Tens of millions of Americans still need boosters that experts call critical for the best possible protection as the coronavirus continues to mutate.

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For now, the FDA authorized Novavax’s initial two-dose series for people 18 and older.

“I encourage anyone who is eligible for, but has not yet received, a COVID-19 vaccine to consider doing so,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a statement.

Before shots begin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend how they should be used, a decision expected next week.

Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told The Associated Press that he expected the U.S. to expand use of the vaccine beyond unvaccinated adults fairly quickly.


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