The Australian drug regulator Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the Novavax vaccine, as well as two oral treatments for vulnerable patients with COVID-19.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the news on Thursday, adding that Australia has ordered 51 million doses.
“We know that some people have waited for this vaccine, and … hopefully, this will encourage those people in the last five percent to come forward,” Hunt said.
Hunt also said that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) would now review the decision, and if approved, Novavax would be made available “over the coming weeks.”
Head of the TGA John Skerritt said Novavax had been approved as a two-dose vaccine for the primary course of vaccination, with doses three weeks apart.
“I know there is interest in the potential for Novavax being used as a booster or even an adolescence pediatric dose … as we have with all vaccines, as soon as we get the data, we will review it as an absolute top priority,” Skerritt said.
Previously, TGA has first approved Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck Sharp & Dohme’s Lagevrio oral medicines for the virus but emphasized that “these treatments are not a replacement for vaccinations which remains the most effective way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID.”
Australia also has two other treatments approved for use, the sotrovimab and remdesivir, which must be administered intravenously via a cannula by a healthcare professional.
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