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Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets off to a slow start with just 7,000 doses in arms

Following its emergency authorization last month, just 7,300 doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Americans across the country, newly updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals. .

According to John Brownstein, Ph.D., epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and ABC News contributor, the slow start may be, in part, due to the fact that vaccines were not immediately made available after authorization, and therefore, there may be reporting delays.

The total doses of Novavax represent only a fraction of the injections given each day, although the total number of vaccines given has fallen in recent months.

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine in Utrecht, the Netherlands, March 15, 2022. Unlike mRNA vaccines, it does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, giving it a logistical advantage in hard-to-reach regions.

Jeroen Jumelet/ANP via AFP/Getty Images

Additionally, the vaccine has not been widely available, with only 385 sites initially offering the Novavax vaccine out of more than 53,000 sites with COVID-19 vaccines, Brownstein said. However, in recent days, that number has grown to 986 sites, which Brownstein says could help boost adoption.

“A mix of reduced access, limited promotion and a slowdown in the vaccination campaign means that Novavax has not been a high priority for the remaining unvaccinated Americans,” Brownstein said. “As supply grows, we could see increased access, but that’s unlikely to make a real dent.”

In July, the Biden administration obtained 3.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax, in hopes that some unvaccinated Americans would get vaccinated.

Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets off to a slow start with just 7,000 doses in arms

A health care worker administers a dose of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania on August 1, 2022. Novavax’s protein-based Covid-19 vaccine received approval for use in July long-sought emergency in the United States.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

A number of health experts had expressed their hope that some of the people, who are still hesitant to get vaccinated, would be more inclined to receive the Novavax vaccine, as it is based on a more traditional protein-based technology, already used for the flu vaccine and other vaccines, while vaccine platforms Pfizer and Moderna have harnessed new genetic technology – with messenger RNA – to produce their vaccines.

“A more traditional delivery route should be seen as an incentive to convince those who haven’t yet rolled up their sleeves,” Brownstein explained.

However, early indicators suggest that clearance has yet to significantly move the needle with more hesitant Americans.

Even so, health experts have previously told ABC News that no matter how widely Novavax’s vaccine is used, it will still save lives.

Nationally, there are still more than 26 million American adults who are still unvaccinated.

There has not been a significant increase in the number of people receiving a first dose of COVID-19 since November 2021. Since then, the average number has steadily fallen to around 50,000 first shots, given to all groups every day. of eligible ages.

ABC News

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