• Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Covid-19: the High Authority for Health authorizes the Novavax vaccine in France – LCI


Jan 14, 2022

VACCINATION – The High Authority for Health approves this Friday the use of the Novavax vaccine. This will be used in particular to convince those reluctant to messenger RNA. However, she asks to favor Pfizer and Moderna.

A fifth vaccine in the French vaccine strategy. In an opinion issued this Friday, the High Authority for Health (HAS) gives the green light for the use of the Novavax vaccine in the country. Even if the HAS specifies that messenger RNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) should be preferred given their effectiveness and their decline in their use, the Novavax vaccine may be administered in France in the coming weeks.

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Covid-19: the challenge of vaccination

This green light is primarily aimed at non-vaccinated French people, because they are reluctant to use messenger RNA, or at those benefiting from a contraindication for vaccination via this technology. HAS “maintains its recommendation to favor mRNA vaccines, […] but for people reluctant to this type of vaccine and those who cannot benefit from it”, it considers that the Novavax vaccine “represents a useful alternative”.

The two-dose Janssen vaccine, the other approved alternative

Novavax, a more “classic” vaccine based on a recombinant protein, must be administered twice, three weeks apart. “People who have received a single dose of any vaccine, and who refuse or cannot receive a second dose of the same vaccine, can complete their primary vaccination with the Novavax vaccine”, specifies the HAS. This vaccine can be given to anyone over 18 (except pregnant women).

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According to the High Health Authority, the effectiveness of the Novavax vaccine is around 90% “against symptomatic forms”, and approaching 100% “against severe forms”. However, these data are based on trials completed before the emergence of the two strains of the virus currently circulating in the country: Delta and Omicron. The efficacy of Novavax against these variants “still to be confirmed”, writes the HAS.

In addition, the authority takes advantage of this opinion to issue its green light to the modification of the vaccination schedule with Janssen. Previously, only one dose was needed, followed by a second by mRNA to complete the primary vaccination schedule. From now on, to complete the initial cycle, two doses of Janssen can be injected two months apart. This vaccine, based on adenovirus technology, can also be used for the booster, but remains reserved for people over 55.

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