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Australians look set to have the option of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine from next month.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told radio presenter Chris Smith on 4BC that Novavax could be available to Australians as soon as January 2022.

Australia has ordered 51 million doses of the protein-based vaccine, which is yet to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine ready for use in a trial. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“Novavax is going through the Therapeutic Goods Administration, our medical regulator,” Mr Hunt told 4BC.

“I’m hopeful that, subject to that data stacking up, that this will be available in January.”

Australia has hit a 94 percent first dose vaccination rate and 90.8 percent of people aged over 16 have had two doses of a vaccine.

Mr Hunt said the addition of another vaccine could help give a small, but important boost the country’s vaccination rollout.

“I think it will add a per cent or so to the vaccine program, but every per cent when you’re at 94 per cent makes a huge difference.”

The European Medicines Agency announced yesterday Novavax had been approved for use in EU residents over the age of 18.

Clinical trials have shown Novavax is 90 per cent effective against symptomatic infection and 100 per cent against moderate and severe disease for COVID-19.

However, it is not yet clear how well the vaccine will protect against the surging Omicron variant of the virus.

Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told Bloomberg News he was confident the vaccine would provide a “robust” protection against Omicron.

“Our expectation based upon what we saw with Alpha, Beta and Delta is that we’ll have a robust, protective level of antibodies with Omicron just as we have with the others,” Mr Erck told Bloomberg News.

“In addition, we’re making a new vaccine variant, an Omicron strain variant.”

Source: 9News

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