The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency recognition to the Covit-19 vaccine, developed by Nova Vox of Maryland and the Serum Institute of India, opening the door for low-income countries around the world to distribute the vaccine, also known as nova vaccine.
The announcement was made on Friday, six weeks after the company submitted its application. As governments around the world re-imposed coronavirus controls, the news of its recognition came as it prepared itself for an increase in cases brought by Omigran, a new variant that still appears to be the most contagious form of the disease. Its rapid spread underscores the urgency of addressing global vaccine imbalances to prevent infection.
The approval of NovaVox, which is expected to make up a significant portion of the world’s vaccine supply, could bring about significant change. Novavax announced in February a deal to deliver 1.1 billion doses of Covax, a United Nations support effort to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. In September, Kovacs had to reduce its scheduled dose delivery by a quarter by 2021, as Novacox has not yet received approval for its vaccine.
The gap in vaccination rates between high-income countries now emphasizes booster shots for most adults and low-income countries. Novavax’s approval by the WHO will help increase vaccine supply to some of the world’s most at-risk population.
“This list is particularly aimed at increasing access to low-income countries, of which 41 are still 10 per cent vaccinated, while 98 countries have not reached 40 per cent,” said Dr. Mariangala Simov, WHO’s Assistant Director-General. Access to drugs, a statement said.
Novavox is the ninth vaccine approved urgently by the WHO
Unlike the mRNA vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, NovaVox uses an old technology that uses nanoparticles made from spike proteins to stimulate immunity. It can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures and will increase its access to many countries.
Although this was problematic due to production delays, the two-dose regulatory novovax vaccine was highly effective in clinical trials in the United States and abroad. In a test involving about 30,000 people, the vaccine showed an overall effectiveness of 90.4 per cent, according to the results published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The efficacy of Novavax against mild or severe diseases is 100%.
NovaVox received its first approval from Indonesia last month and was soon approved for use in the Philippines. The company said the application will be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of this year.