The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is now recommended for use in adults ages 18 and older. The vaccine can be used as another pimary series option for adults ages 18 and older. It will be available for use in the coming weeks and is an important tool in the pandemic. The vaccine provides a more familiar type of vaccine technology for adults.
The Novavax vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine which packages harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus with another ingredient called and adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future. Vaccines using protein subunits have been used for more than 30 years in the United States, beginning with the first licensed hepatitis B vaccine. Other protein subunit vaccines used in the United States today include those to protect against influenza and whooping cough (acellular pertussis). For more information, please read the CDCs full media release, CDC Recommends Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults
Number of Shots: 2 doses in the primary series, given 3–8 weeks apart.
People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive 2 doses, given 3 weeks apart (a 3rd primary dose is not currently authorized).
Booster Shot: Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is not authorized for use as a booster dose.
Type of Vaccine: Protein subunit
How Given: Shot in the muscle of the upper arm
Does NOT Contain: Eggs, preservatives, latex, metals
Safety Data Summary
- COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Side effects that happen within 7 days of getting vaccinated are common but are mostly mild and only last a few days. Some people have reactions that affect their ability to do daily activities.
- Side effects throughout the body (such as fever, chills, tiredness, and headache) are more common after the second dose of the vaccine.
- Severe allergic reactions to vaccines are rare but can happen. Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in people who received Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
Learn more about vaccine safety monitoring after a vaccine is authorized or approved for use.
How Well the Vaccine Works
- Vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19, including the risk of severe illness and death among people who are fully vaccinated.
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective. Clinical trials demonstrate that Novavax COVID-19 reduces the risk of COVID-19, including the risk of severe illness and death. However, studies from other COVID-19 vaccines have shown that protection declines over time especially with the Omicron variant.
- All FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death.
- CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more.