Nuvaxovid, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, has been approved to be used as a primary vaccination course from 12 years of age and as a first or second booster for people aged 18 and older in Aotearoa. Use as a second booster is limited by the criteria for second boosters. Pfizer continues to be the preferred vaccine.
Nuvaxovid is a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine (the first available in NZ), which can be used as a primary course with 2 doses, given at least 3 weeks apart, ideally 8 weeks apart. If used with another COVID-19 vaccine, at least 4 weeks (28 days) interval is recommended.
Nuvaxovid boosters must be at least 6 months post the previous COVID-19 vaccination.
Further information on Nuvaxovid can be found here.
Injection site pain or tenderness; tiredness; headache; muscle or joint pain; generally feeling unwell.
Rare side effects include severe allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis)
Nuvaxovid has been approved by Medsafe to be used as a primary vaccination course from 12 years of age and as a first or second booster for people aged 18 and older in Aotearoa.
A Nuvaxovid factsheet for health professionals can be found here.
NOTE: Nuvaxovid, FLUAD QUAD and Shingrix and utilise novel adjuvants to gain a good immune response. Patients should be informed of the possibility of a stronger post-vaccination response, where two or more of these are administered together.
Nuvaxovid is approved for use as a first and a second booster dose from the age of 16 years.
Early data supports the safety and effectiveness of its use as a booster dose. In the UK COV-BOOST study participants aged 30 years or over with no history of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were given one of six vaccines as a booster dose at least 84 days post two doses of Comirnaty or at least 70 days post two doses of AstraZeneca. Following a Comirnaty primary series, the neutralising antibody titre after a dose of Nuvaxovid was 2.7–5.4 greater than the control, while a Comirnaty booster induced 5.8–8.4 higher antibody titres.
For those who experience severe adverse events to their second dose of Comirnaty vaccine, Nuvaxovid would be an effective booster although it appears less immunogenic than Comirnaty as a booster dose.
Common side effects after Nuvaxovid include injection site pain or tenderness; tiredness; headache; muscle or joint pain; generally feeling unwell. Most side effects are mild and go away within a few days.
Rare side effects include severe allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis). The vaccine has had limited take up around the world so information on rare side effects is limited.
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were identified in clinical trials of Nuvaxovid and have also been reported during post-authorisation use. These findings suggest that an increased risk for these conditions may be present after receiving Nuvaxovid. Post marketing experience also includes reports of decreased or painful skin sensations.
People are observed for 15 minutes post vaccination.
Laboratory tests suggest that Nuvaxovid has efficacy against the Omicron strain, but real-world data from people vaccinated with Nuvaxovid is not available yet.