First US Non-RNA COVID-19 Vaccine, Nuvaxovid, to be Available in S’pore by End-May

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If you have been eagerly anticipating the Novavax vaccine that was approved earlier in February, the wait will be over real soon.

Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday (4 May), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that Novavax’s Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine will be offered at Singapore’s first Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre and at 20 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) by the end of May.

The joint testing and vaccination centres will offer both COVID-19 testing and vaccination services in the same place. The first centre will be at the former Bishan Park Secondary School.

“The (centres) will allow us to consolidate our resources, while ensuring testing and vaccination services remain accessible to the public,” MOH added.

MOH also said that it was working to have selected PHPCs offer the Nuvaxovid vaccine, adding that further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The first shipment of the Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Singapore on Wednesday.

Included in Vaccination Programme

On 14 February, the multi-ministry task force accepted the recommendation to include the Nuvaxovid vaccine in the national vaccination programme for people aged 18 years and above, for both COVID-19 primary series and booster vaccination.

The Health Sciences Authority also announced on the same day that it had granted interim authorisation for the vaccine.

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Non-mRNA Vaccine

But what is so unique about Nuvaxovid?

Novavax’s new vaccine is a protein-based vaccine, unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are mRNA vaccines.

This presents an “acceptable alternative” for those aged 18 and above who are ineligible for mRNA vaccines.

However, the mRNA vaccines are still the preferred vaccines due to their higher efficacy and the stronger immune response generated, according to MOH.

Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine is engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is also said to be more effective than Sinovac, another option for those ineligible for mRNA vaccines.

“Boosters and vaccinations remain a critical part of our COVID-19 strategy in ensuring our population is well protected against infection and severe illness,” said MOH.

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Featured Image: Studio Roux / Shutterstock.com


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