Novavax is a protein-based vaccine. This type of vaccine contains part of the coronavirus spike protein.
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, sold under the brand names Nuvaxovid and Covovax, among others, is a subunit COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Full results from Nuvaxovid’s pivotal phase III trial were published in December 2021.
A vaccine is generally considered effective if the estimate is ≥50% with a >30% lower limit of the 95% confidence interval. Efficacy is closely related to effectiveness, which is generally expected to slowly decrease over time.
Novavax reported in December 2021, that its phase III trial showed the vaccine achieved its primary endpoint of preventing infection at least seven days after the second dose. Overall efficacy was 90.4% and efficacy against moderate-to-severe disease was 100%
NVX-CoV2373 has been described as both a protein subunit vaccine and a virus-like particle vaccine, though the producers call it a “recombinant nanoparticle vaccine”.
The vaccine is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The spike protein was modified by incorporating two proline amino acids in order to stabilize the pre-fusion form of the protein; this same 2P modification is being used in several other COVID-19 vaccines. The baculovirus is made to infect a culture of Sf9 moth cells, which then create the spike protein and display it on their cell membranes. The spike proteins are harvested and assembled onto a synthetic lipid nanoparticle about 50 nanometers across, each displaying up to 14 spike proteins.
The formulation includes a saponin-based adjuvant.
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