FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

COVID-19: Experts meet to approve new vaccine

NEWS DIGEST – The drug regulators of the United States held a meeting with a group of experts to consider authorizing Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shot, a new vaccine to tackle the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine was among the race of approved COVID-19 vaccines which was later kept aside due to manufacturing and regulatory delay.

A senior scientist for the Food and Drug Administration, Mr Peter Marks said at the beginning of the meeting that the United States is having a serious problem with the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine.

According to him, the Novavax vaccine shot which is based on synthetic proteins could provide an alternative to the mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 patients who are still hesitant.

A trial conducted by FDA shows that Novavax’s vaccine was 90 per cent effective against symptomatic cases before the appearance of the Omicron variant.

But six cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, were detected in the group that received the vaccine, against one case in the placebo group, in a trial of around 40,000 people.

The FDA voiced concern over the myocarditis link on Friday, sending Novavax shares to drop 20 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange and trading of Novavax stock was halted on Monday pending news from the FDA panel.

Novavax vaccine known as a protein subunit vaccine, if approved will be administered in two doses.

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