Novavax Vaccine Highly Effective But Not Against Variant

More and more data is coming out about COVID-19 vaccines. Some of it is very heartening. Novavax’s vaccine is 90 percent effective against the most common strain of COVID-19 we have here in the U.S. But it’s only 50 percent effective against the quickly spreading South African variant.

We need every vaccine we can get. The U.S. has been promised 110 million doses of the Novavax vaccine by the end of June. As it needs two doses, that 55 million people vaccinated. But, its lack of efficacy against the variant worries many. It seems that we might need multiple vaccines to protect us from the different variants.

The amount of change has been a bit of a surprise to everyone,” said Stanley Erck, the president and chief executive of Novavax. “You’re going to have to make new vaccines.” The company is about to start testing the vaccine they have tweaked to protect against the variant, hoping for better results.   

The U.K. variant is on the rise in Southern California and Florida. It’s more contagious than the American strain. The currently available vaccines can protect you from becoming infected, just not as well. They’re like wearing a raincoat versus having a raincoat, umbrella and boots. And, our vaccine rates are slow. If more people were vaccinated, if everyone is wearing a raincoat, it would stop more people from getting wet and passing the virus on.

This is really worrisome,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine and the inventor of a coronavirus vaccine. “We have to have the American people vaccinated by late in the spring or early summer to have any hope in preventing the South African and the U.K. variants from taking over.”

We’re in a race between the vaccine and the new strains,” said Dr. James Lu, president of Helix, the company tracking variants spreading in the country.

Virologists also worry that this weekend could be a time for super spreader events. People may gather together in homes and bars to watch the Super Bowl. While we all want to enjoy the big game together, it’s better to do it apart. Our team just keeps reminding ourselves that there will be more big games in the future, and it’s not worth gambling with our health now for one game.

The bottom line is that the Novavax vaccine offers excellent protection against the most common type of COVID-19 in the country. If you are eligible for a vaccine, you should jump at the chance to get it. It will protect you so much more than not being vaccinated at all. But even if you are vaccinated, you must continue to be careful and protect yourself.

Banner image: Thirdman via Pexels
February 05, 2021

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