Currents News Staff
You could soon have access to a fourth kind of COVID-19 vaccine. A version from Novavax now has FDA Emergency Use Authorization. The CDC is expected to recommend it as soon as this month.
“The virus continues to evolve very quickly,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid Response Coordinator. “We have to constantly be updating our response.”
It’s unlike the other three vaccines because it uses protein fragments to teach the body how to fight COVID.
If you’re vaccinated against Hepatitis B or whooping cough, you’ve probably already had a vaccine that works like this. The latest variants weren’t around when Novavax developed its vaccine.
But, the company says it appears to have a broad immune system response to the BA.5 Omicron offshoot. That’s good news because it’s the dominant variant right now and the most contagious one yet.
“There’s fatigue, sore throat, headache,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN Medical Analyst, “Anecdotally we’re seeing this more with B-5.”
Experts say getting vaccinated is your best protection against severe illness. If you haven’t gotten boosted this year, you might want to reconsider.
“Immunity against infection wanes pretty quickly,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “And it goes way, way down.”
Meanwhile, drug companies are trying to update existing vaccines for whatever comes next.