US government buying another 1.5M doses of Novavax COVID vaccine

FILE – In this image provided by the Serum Institute of India, vials of freshly manufactured Novavax COVID-19 vaccines wait to be labeled in 2022, in Pune, India. The U.S. is getting another COVID-19 vaccine choice as the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, cleared Novavax shots for adults. (Serum Institute of India for Novavax via AP)

The federal government has modified its existing contract with the American biotechnology company Novavax to purchase 1.5 million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccines.

The Biden administration purchased 3.2 million doses of Novavax’s protein-based coronavirus vaccine in July 2022 shortly before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the shot for administration.

Unlike the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, the Novavax vaccine is a more traditional form of immunization, containing inert fragments of the virus meant to help develop an immune response. At the time of the acquisition, the White House highlighted the shot as additional option for people to get vaccinated.

“This agreement acknowledges the need to offer the American people a diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio and underscores the importance of Novavax’ partnership with the U.S. government to ensure continuous access to a protein-based option as part of public health measures,” Novavax President and CEO John C. Jacobs said in a statement.

News of this acquisition was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

According to federal data, roughly 77,500 doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered out of the more than 1 million doses that have been delivered so far. The initial lot of Novavax vaccines purchased by the government are set to expire towards the end of February.

“[The U.S. government] and Novavax have worked within our existing contract to secure additional vaccine doses – providing continued optionality for the American people,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement to The Hill.

Novavax did not disclose the price per dose at which the vaccines were sold, and the department does not typically provide that information. A source familiar with the purchase confirmed that no new funding was used to obtain the latest lot of vaccines.

Tags Biden COVID-19 vaccines novavax

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