Novavax: Why this vaccine could sway antivaxxers

Could the Novavax jab be the answer to swaying antivaxxers once and for all?

Novavax: Why this vaccine could convince antivaxxers
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Novavax: Why this vaccine could convince antivaxxers

Will the most fervent antivaxxers be seduced by Novaxovid? Developed by the American company Novavax, this antidote does not work in the same way as its competitors, Comirnaty and Spikevax. This could convince some reluctant people, who fear the side effects of the two aforementioned vaccines.

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What's more, as it's been shown in previous studies, those who remain unvaccinated are the ones who are fuelling the current wave of the coronavirus. They are also the ones who are most at risk of the worst case scenario: death.

A protein-based vaccine

Novavax's approach to fighting COVID-19 is nothing like Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccines, which rely on RNA technology. This relatively new technique has raised fears among many antivaxxers, who (wrongly) equate it with a form of gene therapy.

This argument cannot be used to discredit the Novavax vaccine, as it is a "recombinant protein" vaccine, just like the classic vaccines against pertussis and hepatitis B. This means that antivaxxers can not fall back on their usual tactics to refute the advantages of getting jabbed.

A serum of great efficiency

But how does Novavax work? In a press release, the EMA explained:

When a person receives the vaccine, their immune system identifies [the Spike protein] as foreign and produces natural defenses (antibodies and T cells) to fight it. To be fully functional, it requires two injections, spaced three weeks apart.

According to the Agency, Novavax is 90% effective against infections with symptoms. Against the first viral strains in any case. Interviewed by Europe 1, the epidemiologist Yves Buisson said:

What we don't know is how effective it is against this new variant (...) Maybe it will give us a good surprise, but for the moment, nobody knows.
Do vaccines stop coronavirus transmission? Do vaccines stop coronavirus transmission?