Novavax’s new Covid vaccine has received regulatory approval in the U.S., joining the market nearly three weeks after Pfizer and Moderna introduced their latest shots. Analysts believe that Novavax is well-positioned to compete in the U.S. Covid vaccine market despite the delay. The FDA cleared Novavax’s vaccine slightly later than the company’s estimate, which is considered acceptable. Novavax aims to strengthen its financial position with the sales of its updated Covid vaccine, its only commercially available product.
The new Novavax vaccine is seen as a valuable alternative for individuals who prefer a protein-based vaccine over messenger RNA shots from Pfizer and Moderna. The FDA authorized the vaccine for emergency use in individuals aged 12 and older, with eligibility for those who received an older Covid vaccine. The broad authorization label is expected to make Novavax’s jab as widely accessible as the mRNA vaccines.
Novavax’s stock rose more than 10% after FDA clearance but is still down over 25% year-to-date. The company faced financial challenges earlier in the year, leading to doubts about its ability to continue operations. Novavax’s vaccine is protein-based, utilizing a decades-old technology used in routine vaccinations for hepatitis B and shingles.
The approval comes after logistical issues impacted the rollout of Pfizer and Moderna shots, providing Novavax with an opportunity to catch up. The new vaccine might arrive at the right time, with demand expected to peak in the U.S. in the fall and winter. The availability of Novavax’s vaccine in pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other distribution sites is expected to be widespread by November. However, the overall uptake of Covid vaccines remains uncertain, as last year’s booster uptake was only about 17% of the U.S. population.
Novavax aims to leverage its updated Covid vaccine sales and cost-cutting measures to secure its financial future. The company has worked to position itself as a valuable alternative with its protein-based technology, offering choices to individuals who may have reservations about messenger RNA vaccines.