Novavax’s COVID-19 booster has been approved for adults, Health Canada says

Click to play video: 'Canada approves protein-based Novavax vaccine'
Canada approves protein-based Novavax vaccine
Health Canada has approved the use of the Novavax vaccine. Global BC medical contributor, Dr. Birinder Narang, explains what it means for British Columbians, and the advisory information from NACI – Feb 19, 2022

Health Canada said Thursday it has approved the booster dose of Novavax‘s Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 years and older.

Previously, only the two-dose primary series had been approved.

The booster dose was shown to increase the immune response against COVID-19, according to Health Canada.

The agency said on its website that the five-microgram booster can be taken about six months after the second dose of the vaccine.

“Your province or territory decides when people receive their doses of the vaccine,” the website reads.

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Rather than an mRNA vaccine, Novavax’s version is a protein subunit vaccine, meaning it contains “harmless and purified pieces (proteins) of the virus, which have been specifically selected for their ability to trigger immunity,” Health Canada says.

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“Protein subunit vaccines are already used for other diseases. An example of an existing protein subunit vaccine is the one for hepatitis B.”

The vaccine also cannot cause COVID-19 because it contains small pieces of protein and not the virus, the agency says.

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