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500 people on the First Coast tested the Novavax vaccine, FDA authorization to come soon

Novavax is expected to the be the fourth COVID-19 vaccine given emergency use authorization by the FDA.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The FDA is looking at the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine's manufacturing process before it decides on emergency use authorization, which would allow Americans to receive this new vaccine. 

Novavax is already approved in about 40 countries. The FDA’s committee of independent vaccine experts voted unanimously to recommend Novavax’s vaccine for use in the U.S. Usually the FDA follows their recommendations.

The small company is coming in a little late in the vaccine game, but they are using a different vaccine technology. 

Dr. Michael Koren with the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research has been taking part in the Novavax study. He says 500 people locally have received the vaccine which uses a protein therapeutic to fight the virus.

So it is really cool technology that is something why people like me are really excited about it. It’s called a protein therapeutic," he said. "In a protein therapeutic, you are using the protein from the virus to illicit an immune response.”

Koren hopes this vaccine could sway skeptics to get vaccinated. He says some people question the mRNA technology, but the protein therapeutics are more well known.

 “I’ve certainly spoke with a number of patients who feel that way for some reason have been reluctant to want to embrace the new messenger RNA technology," Koren said. "And for those people, this might be a great alternative.”

The vaccine is two doses given 21 days apart. Yale Medicine says this vaccine is simpler to make than other vaccines and can be stored in a refrigerator, which makes is easier to distribute. 

It would be available for those 18 and up. Currently studies are ongoing with kids as young as 12.

Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research is also looking for people under 50 years old who have received COVID-19 vaccines in the past. If you are interested in taking part in an upcoming research opportunity, call 904-730-0166.

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