It was a really stunningly slow news day today. There are lots of articles navel-gazing about “what does it mean for the pandemic to be over?” but not much real news.
This article reports that Health Canada (finally) approved Novavax! Novavax had really good results — 90% effective against infection and 100% effective against hospitalization or death in the US/Mexico during the Alpha wave, but it had trouble manufacturing.
There’s also precious little information about how well it does against Omicron. I couldn’t find ANYTHING about how well it did in people against Omicron. In test tubes, Novavax Inc. issued a press release in December which said that antibody and T-cell levels were lower against Omicron, but that a third dose brought test-tube immunity back up to levels similar to what they saw in the US/Mexico study.
This article reports that Novavax was 80% effective against Delta infections in teenagers. I’m not sure if the dosage was the same.
As a reminder, Novavax uses what I call the “spikey ball” technique. J&J and AZ sneak DNA into the cell nucleus, where it gets converted into mRNA, which gets converted into spikes. Pfizer and Moderna sneak mRNA into the cell, which gets converted into spikes. Novavax just dumps spikes (aggregated into little spikey balls) into the lymph system.
This is great news. There are a bunch of the unvaxxed who say they have concerns because mRNA is too new, or because they are afraid of the mRNA rewriting their DNA (which it can’t, but…). Maybe they won’t be scared of Novavax.
Novavax also doesn’t need ultra-low temps; regular fridge temperatures are fine. This will make it easier to distribute to rural/remote communities.
This article says that COVID-19 is going to end up like smoking: it kills a bunch of people who don’t take the right measures (get vaxxed/stop smoking) and/or the people close to them.