Experts hope to reach new segments of community with Novavax COVID jab

FILE - A syringe is prepared with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in the Norristown...
FILE - A syringe is prepared with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in the Norristown Public Health Center in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 1:37 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 3:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There’s a new vaccine available for COVID.

The state Health Department announced Novavax will soon be available in the islands.

Like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for Covid, Novavax is administered in two doses. It is available for individuals 18 and up, with the second dose to be administered three to eight weeks after the first.

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines, Novavax is a protein subunit vaccine.

A protein subunit vaccine includes “harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus that trigger an immune response.”

MRNA vaccines, on the other hand, do not include proteins of the virus but rather teach our cells to make a protein that creates an immune response to produce antibodies, according to the CDC.

Officials say the new opportunity can help make vaccinations more inclusive.

“Novavax gives us another way to protect ourselves from COVID-19,” said state Health Director Libby Char.

“Its arrival is great news for people who are allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna or those who, for whatever reason, have been reluctant to be vaccinated.”

Other protein subunit vaccines include those for hepatitis B, whooping cough, shingles, and other diseases, which have been used in the United States for more than 30 years, public health experts said.

The announcement comes as Hawaii reported 14 additional coronavirus deaths Wednesday and 3,189 new cases in the past seven day.

5 Minute Pharmacy on Oahu and Safeway Pharmacy in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island currently offer Novavax vaccinations. Click here to schedule an appointment at these locations using an interactive map.

Kaiser Permanente is also offering Novavax starting Monday. Appointments are required.

For more information on Novavax, click here.

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