The Novavax vaccine is a two-dose, protein-based COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is developed using more traditional protein-based technology compared to other available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Novavax vaccine uses a combination of purified coronavirus spike proteins and an immune-boosting stimulant called an adjuvant (common in many vaccines) to strengthen the body’s immune response against COVID-19. 

On October 3, 2023, the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, approving the updated Novavax vaccine for adults and children 12 years and older. It is the third COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States, in addition to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. As a protein-based vaccine, Novavax is an option for people who are allergic to one of the components in a mRNA or viral-vector vaccine. Novavax is currently being used in more than 40 countries and has been authorized by the European Union and the World Health Organization.

Updated December 14, 2023