CDC endorses non-MRNA COVID vaccine

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 1:27 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now endorsing a fourth type of COVID vaccine.

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, it’s a non-MRNA vaccine. Local health experts say it may be safe but it’s less effective.

Novavax got the sign off from the CDC on a non-mRNA COVID vaccine just days ago.

“It’s an old fashioned vaccine type of vaccine that vaccinates against those six strains, It does provide some degree of protection but not as good as the MRNA vaccines but it is an alternative for people that would consider getting a vaccine based on the technology they’re used to,” Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Tim Connelly said.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the total COVID cases per 100,000 people is 491 as of Wednesday. The week before it was 415. And these numbers don’t even include at home test.

Cases have been rising over the summer and Dr. Connelly says the new BA-5 variant is to blame.

“The virus continues to mutate and that’s the biggest challenge that we face is not only does the virus mutate like other viruses,” he said.

Dr. Connelly also says the Novavax vaccine may not be as effective against the newest variant.

“They developed it for the BA-1 and BA-2 variant that were developing at the time and now that variant has already come and gone in the time it took to manufacture that vaccine. That’s why the MRNA vaccines that target the spike protein are so important.

The Biden administration secured 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine early last week. Dr. Connelly says potential symptoms from the Novavax shot aren’t as severe as other vaccines.

“You may have some mild fever, some mild body aches, some mild chills. It tends to be short lived,” Dr. Connelly said.

He says it’s not clear yet if or when the Novavax vaccine will be available in our area.

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