UK approves first protein-based vaccine

The Novavax shot, which uses conventional immunization technology, will be available for all over-18s

On Thursday, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved Novavax’s vaccine as the country’s fifth shot to protect against Covid-19. Those aged 18 and over can receive the shot.

The shot, called Nuvaxovid, is the first protein-based vaccine approved in the UK for use against Covid-19. It is administered in a two-dose-regimen and has demonstrated efficacy levels above 90%. 

“We are continuing our vital safety work in monitoring the use of all Covid-19 vaccines, to ensure that their benefits in protecting people against Covid-19 disease continue to outweigh any risks,” MHRA Chief Executive June Raine said in a statement.

The shot has been billed by some as an important development in overcoming vaccine hesitancy, as Novavax’s jab is a protein vaccine which uses the same inoculation technology already used for decades against hepatitis, shingles, and other viral infections.

The vaccine was recommended by the EU’s regulator in December and was subsequently approved by lawmakers.

Approval in the UK comes shortly after the biotech firm applied for authorization in the US following months of issues relating to development and manufacturing.

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