Three million Novavax vaccines have arrived at Sydney Aiport on Monday night, February 7, after being shipped to Australia from Singapore.
The shipment is the first of many, with a total of 51 million Novavax vaccines set to touchdown in Australia in the coming months. The new jab is the latest development in the fight to manage the current Covid-19 situation in Australia.
The recent shipment of vaccines will undergo batch testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before they are approved for medical distribution within Australia. The vaccine will be offered at Australian GPs, pharmacies and state hubs from February 21, the same day that international travel resumes, and is being described as “the next weapon in the Covid-19 fight”.
Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, hopes that the new protein-based vaccine will motivate the remaining number of Australia’s unvaxxed citizens to get the jab.
“Obviously we have a first dose national vaccination rate of 95.2 per cent and we know some people have waited for Novavax,” said Hunt.
“Hopefully this will encourage those people in that less than five per cent to come forward and be vaccinated.”
According to a diagram published by News.com.au, “The Novavax vaccine is made using moth cells in the lab – a tried and tested method of growing and harvesting virus proteins already used against illnesses including the flu.” In other words, the vaccine trains the immune system to produce antibodies to the spike proteins in SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Previously rolled-out jabs such as Pfizer and Moderna, which are Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, function by feeding the body genetic information on how to battle the Covid-19 virus.
The shipment is welcomed news for Australia as the country’s aged care sector continues to suffer from mass internal outbreaks of Covid-19 and severe staff shortages. As of Wednesday, February 9, approximately 1000 Australian Defence Force members will be deployed into age care in an attempt to manage the crisis.