The Ministry of Health announced on Friday the long-awaited Novavax Covid-19 vaccine can step up its progress for use in New Zealand.
Medsafe granted provisional approval of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine, Nuvaxovid. Regulators around the world such as the European Medicines Agency and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration have also granted approval for consumer use.
Around 10.72 million doses have been purchased under an agreement between Novavax and the government.
Adults age 18 years and older can take the vaccine. Nuvaxovid is a two-dose protein subnit vaccine and an alternative for a small group of people who cannot take the Pfizer-BioNTech type.
Distribution is expected to start as early as the first quarter of this year.
Image: Sam Hudson - Chris James, Group Manager for Medsafe
“The Medsafe team has worked tirelessly to ensure that Covid-19 vaccine applications are prioritised and urgently reviewed, while still maintaining the same scrutiny that all medicine applications undergo before they can be approved,” said Chris James, Group Manager.
“Medsafe only approves a vaccine or medicine for use in New Zealand once it is satisfied that it has met acceptable standards for quality, safety and efficacy.”
The provisional approval will be considered after Ministers get advice from the Ministry of Health whether the Nuvaxovid vaccine will be used in the country, followed by guidance that'll be provided by the Covid-19 Vaccine Science and Technical Advisory Group.
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