The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially endorsed the use of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, a day after the agency’s advisory committee voted unanimously to approve it.
In a statement on Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said she supports the panel’s recommendation, calling the new vaccine an “important tool” in the ongoing pandemic that “provides a more familiar type of COVID-19 vaccine technology for adults.”
Walenksy added that having multiple COVID-19 vaccines in use offers more options and flexibility for people, jurisdictions and vaccine providers.
“Today, we have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated,” Walensky said in a statement, adding that being vaccinated against the virus is still the best option.
“With COVID-19 cases on the rise again across parts of the country, vaccination is critical to help protect against the complications of severe COVID-19 disease,” she added.
The White House has announced it will purchase up to 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.
The Novavax vaccine, a plant-based alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, isn’t expected to make a huge impact in the country’s vaccination campaign. But experts have noted that it could help lead vaccine-hesitant people to get the shot.
As of now, 67 percent of people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, according to CDC data.
In a statement, President Biden said the CDC’s and Food and Drug Administration’s decision to authorize the Novavax vaccine is a step in the right direction in the country’s battle against the virus.
“Over the past 18 months, my Administration has left no stone unturned to ensure Americans have easy and convenient access to lifesaving tools, including vaccines, treatments, tests and more,” Biden said. “While we know COVID-19 isn’t over, we can manage this moment and continue to minimize COVID-19’s impact on our daily lives.”