Our Berlin bureau chief, Philip Oltermann, stories on the rollout of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine in Germany:
Germany will provide its inhabitants a brand new protein-based Covid-19 vaccine comparable to traditional flu jabs this week, within the hope of swaying a sizeable minority that continues to be sceptical of the novel mRNA expertise utilized in essentially the most generally used vaccines.
About 1.4m doses of the Nuvaxovid vaccine developed by the US biotech firm Novavax are to reach in Germany this week, the nation’s well being minister, Karl Lauterbach, confirmed final Friday. An extra 1m doses are to reach the week after, with the German authorities’s whole order for the yr 2022 amounting to 34m doses.
Novavax’s product has till now solely been utilized in Indonesia and the Philippines, however was permitted to be used within the EU final December. It’s nonetheless awaiting authorisation within the US, as some considerations concerning the firm’s manufacturing capability persist.
Not like the novel mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna or viral vector made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, Nuvaxovid is a protein subunit vaccine. It incorporates a non-infectious element on the floor of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which induces a protecting immune response when the physique’s immune cells come into contact with it.
Novavax introduced final Junethat its vaccine had confirmed greater than 90% efficient towards symptomatic infections with the Alpha variant, in trials together with almost 30,000 volunteers within the US and Mexico.
The corporate says its product is equally efficient towards the Delta and Omicron variants, particularly after a booster shot administered six months after the second jab. Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute notes that the information proving the vaccine’s efficacy towards extra infectious variants stays restricted.
Surveys in Germany counsel a substantial curiosity within the Novavax jab among the many 19.8 million folks within the nation who’ve thus far declined to take a jab towards Covid-19. Out of 4,000 unvaccinated hospital employees surveyed in Berlin, 1,800 expressed an curiosity within the protein-based vaccine.
Within the northern states of Decrease Saxony, the well being ministry mentioned 6,000 folks had put their identify on a ready listing for Nuvaxovid by early February.
Some scientists query whether or not the brand new vaccine will show a sport changer in a rustic whose general vaccination charge has been flatlining round 75% for months. Lars Korn, co-author of a present survey of anti-vaxxer attitudes carried out by the College of Erfurt, advised public broadcaster ZDF that two-thirds of respondents would proceed to utterly reject any type of vaccination.