First protein-based COVID vaccine to reach Estonia next week

Vaccination. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Nuvaxovid, a protein-based vaccine also known as the Novavax vaccine based on the name of its producer, will arrive in Estonia next week, the State Agency of Medicines announced. The new vaccine is slated to roll out in early March.

"18,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in Estonia with the first shipment, and these will be made available in every Estonian county by the beginning of March," the State Agency of Medicines said. "The vaccine will be used for the prevention of COVID-19 in adults."

Over the next three weeks, an additional 36,000 doses of Nuvaxovid is slated to arrive in Estonia; initially, a total of 54,000 doses of the new vaccine are being ordered.

According to the agency, the vaccine will be made available by early March at all major hospitals and all county hospitals. Nuvaxovid will also be distributed to major vaccination partners, and family doctors will also be able to order the vaccine.

Novavax's Nuvaxovid vaccine is the first traditional, protein-based vaccine against the COVID-19 virus to receive conditional market approval by the European Medicines Agency.

The expert committee on immunoprophylaxis at the Ministry of Social Affairs recommends administering the Nuvaxovid vaccine to adults aged 18 and over. The vaccine is administered in two doses spaced three weeks apart.

90 percent effective

According to the ministry's expert committee, Nuvaxovid can be administered in combination with other COVID vaccines in its initial two doses as well as be used as a booster to other initial vaccination series.

The results of two primary clinical trials indicate that Nuvaxovid is approximately 90 percent effective in protecting adults aged 18 and over against infection with the COVID-19 virus. Trials involved more than 45,000 participants. It is worth noting, however, that during this vaccine's clinical trial phase, it was primarily SARS-CoV-2's original, alpha and beta variants that predominated.

There is currently insufficient hard data regarding how effective the Nuvaxovid vaccine may be against the omicron variant. The producer of the vaccine, Novavax, currently has trials underway, and initial data suggests sufficient defense against the omicron variant.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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