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Novavax and the lack of Vaccine Choice

  • 19-08-2021 12:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8,136 ✭✭✭ Danno

    I seen recently that the EU have agreed a deal with Novavax for alot of vaccine supply in the third quarter of 2021.

    This is a vaccine I am particularly interested in taking and have been "holding off" getting a vaccination until this one arrives.

    There seems to be very little news about the roll out of this vaccine from an Irish perspective. Now that the Irish Authorities have done away with ordering more AZ and J&J - is it reasonable to conclude that Ireland will also turn it's nose up at the Novavax vaccine?

    I cannot understand why there is not more choice of vaccine available now considering much more availability. Surely, at this stage having a choice of vaccine might dwindle the numbers of vaccine hesitant folks somewhat. I consider myself in this category.



  • Registered Users Posts: 31,744 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    We are participating in this purchase. The EMA have it under rolling review but they haven't even gone for FDA approval yet.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,601 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    The chances of you being offered this specifically are exceptionally slim.

    The logistics of handling for the picky would be incredibly difficult and expensive - unless, for instance, you're willing to be told that its only available at 8:30 in Bantry on one day a month and actually go there to get it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,136 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Seems so, but why should that be the case? At the end of the day surely a basket of different vaccines should be on offer to whoever wants to pick what gets injected? Even if that meant travelling to a provincial centre as opposed to a county or a large town centre.

  • Registered Users Posts: 812 ✭✭✭ bb12

    this is the vaccine i've also been holding out for. no interest in any of the others

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,601 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Because we'd probably still be sub-50% and fighting awful logistics problems if that was offered.

    By the time this comes on the market, 90%+ of adults will be fully vaccinated and any catch up programme will be absolutely unable to offer choice as there wouldn't be enough people looking for each type in each place to actually justify opening a vial. If MVCs still exist they'll be doing boosters, not rolling this out to anyone.

    What are your reasons for deciding this is the only one for you, anyway? It could be a year away from approval.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,301 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles

    A senseless choice isn't really the issue, and I may agree on how logical that choice being made is but not without hearing and finding out if that choice is an irrational or a rational one. Far too much othering going on across all these covid threads, it doesn't actually help the situation nor does it add any value to the discussion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,744 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    The latest on it is a possible FDA approval request in the last quarter so it could well run into next year before it might be approved.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,884 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs

    QFT. This vaccine lark is incredibly partisan with smug overload on both sides of the room.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    They’re going for UK approval next month apparently

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,638 ✭✭✭✭ listermint

  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭ godzilla1989

    For anyone that's unsure, a comparison here of all vaccine's

    Novavax is on the bottom

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,884 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs

    It doesn't negate the point I made. As it stands while the current crop of vaccines have helped in bringing down serious illness and death in a very positive way, they're not close to ideal yet. Efficacy is dropping over time as we're seeing in Israel. They're still protective as the majority of those in hospital and dying are unvaccinated so that's very a good thing, but they seem to be not so good at preventing transmission with the delta variant.

    What's odd about this pox is how short a time immunity is sticking around. This goes for the vaccinated and recovered. Compared to the "original" SARS, which it is 80% similar to SARS Covid 19, antibodies were present in the recovered for years after. One bit of good news is that those original SARS recovered may help create a much better vaccine. It's been found that those who recovered from SARS who are then vaccinated against Covid 19 show a much stronger immune response and better again also show an immune response against other coronaviruses that may jump to humans in the future. This could be the magic bullet to nail this pox's coffin shut. Link ->

    The antibodies are high-level and broad-spectrum, capable of neutralizing not only known variants of concern but also sarbecoviruses that have been identified in bats and pangolins and that have the potential to cause human infection. These findings show the feasibility of a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine strategy.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭ godzilla1989

    Yeah that's a good post from him

    Was a good read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,752 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool

    Just on the last point, vaccines reduce transmission, studies show this to be about 80% (there are numerous studies, but here is an article from nature COVID vaccines slash viral spread – but Delta is an unknown (

    Delta has a higher R0 without vaccinations in play (believed to be about 8) and the vaccines seem to effectively reduce this to almost 1, even with restrictions relaxed.

    The maths about % chance of getting the disease has also changed with most believing you will be exposed when restrictions are fully relaxed, so the choice for everyone becomes between getting exposed without vaccine protection vs. getting exposed with vaccine protection.

    Hopefully Novavax comes online in sufficient numbers and as expected, but it will be it's own roller coaster of updates and new findings as the other vaccines have been and there will undoubtedly be updates to the mRNA vaccines that reduce side effects and give better protection (I'm sure there's forums that were dedicated to the yearly updates of the flu vaccine and it's novel side effects, those who were interested in these things before it became so mainstream).

    Personally, I'm honestly not worried about the long term effects of mRNA (they could have picked a better name, as Liam Neeson says, just wait till they find out that SARS-COV2 is full blown RNA being injected into your living cells), and neither seem to be the scientists who worked on it, the mRNA itself is absent from the body a while post dose leaving just the antibody and t-cell memory, there is no concerns about build up in the body or rejecting future versions (which matters for adenovirus), it would be like me worrying about the effect of an apple I ate a year ago on my body. But I do understand that some people are worried by this and new technology is just not liked by some (whether it's nostalgia or just going with what they know and trust).

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,752 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool

    It is definitely an industry that was looking for a killer app that just happened to come along in the form of a worldwide pandemic :)

    They're still trying to figure out the process for cancer treatment, and development in the vaccine area will likely cross-benefit there, but beyond the potential for allergic reactions (which have been significantly decreased and tend to be of the time) there just isn't the potential for long term side effects that there was when the lipid technology was first developed. I would almost say you were burdened by the knowledge of the early days, which for any research area is full to the brim of failures, given where the industry is now headed, we could start seeing it replace a lot of the older vaccines (or of course we fully exit the pandemic and all funding dries up and it becomes a what if).

  • Registered Users Posts: 949 ✭✭✭ Cymro

    I'd be interested in seeing your source for this part: "there just isn't the potential for long term side effects that there was when the lipid technology was first developed."

    Even many pro-mRNA injection scientists who think the balance remains in favour of vaccination have expressed concerns about the long-term safety of the LNP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,752 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool

    I'm not surprised, experience from the early days in a new technology sector tends to stick with people, I also think it's confusing "long term usage" with "long term safety".

    i.e. the risk of a severe allergic reaction is 1/1M, which for a yearly vaccine is probably fine and manageable, but probably less so for a daily injection or treatment course (like would happen with cancer where different other drugs can heighten the effect of allergens) but again, all these are reactions that happen at the time of exposure to LNP, post dose, if the person gets no further injections, there is no material present to cause any "long term" issues as seems to be getting alluded to, e.g. in 10 years time it pops up and causes an arm to fall off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 949 ✭✭✭ Cymro

    Thank you, but I was actually after the source you got the information from rather than an extended version of the opinion.

    Would be great if you’d post a link or whatever to something explaining how “there just isn’t the potential for long term side effects”.

    Its a big claim that I haven’t seen even the most ardent pro-mRNA vaccine experts make.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,752 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool

    Honestly, there's a lot of papers out there to read through going back a number of years, I found this blog to provide a good summary, but if you search for "nano lipid carriers" you'll get a good selection:

    Understanding the nanotechnology in COVID-19 vaccines | CAS

    Funnily enough, many years ago I was working with someone (me on the IT side) who was looking at these as a delivery mechanism for cosmetics, which looks like it may come true.

    There was another paper covering allergens that I can't place right now, but, as I said, search using the above and there will be a number of papers.