Santa Clara County will begin offering the new Novavax COVID-19 vaccine starting today, Aug. 2, county officials said. The shots will be available at all county health system vaccination sites.
Novavax differs from the currently available Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use an mRNA-based approach to developing immunity. Instead, Novavax uses traditional protein-based technology. Both types of vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, the county noted.
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses given three to eight weeks apart. The vaccine, which was recently approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers an alternative for the small percentage of people who are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine due to a history of allergic reactions or who might be more comfortable with a traditional type of vaccine.
The Novavax vaccine doesn't contain preservatives, latex, metals, antibiotics or tissues such as aborted fetal cells, gelatin or any materials from any animal. It also doesn't contain food proteins such as eggs or egg products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, nut products or any nut byproducts.
The vaccines are available to adults. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the vaccine for use as a booster, however.
"Adding the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to our inventory adds another option to assist us in reaching those Santa Clara County residents who still remain unvaccinated," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Anyone interested in receiving the Novavax vaccine is encouraged to check with their primary physician about receiving the initial vaccination series. Anyone without a primary health care provider or who is having difficulty finding an appointment can find assistance at sccfreevax.org.