Japan Govt OKs Novavax's COVID-19 Vaccine

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry on Tuesday approved a novel coronavirus vaccine developed by U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Novavax Inc., making it the fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in the Asian country.

People aged 18 or over are expected to receive the vaccine free of charge for the first and second shots, as well as for the third, or booster, shots. The formal approval came after a panel of experts under the ministry gave its go-ahead to the Novavax vaccine on Monday.

A separate health ministry panel will discuss whether the Novavax vaccine can be used for mix-and-match inoculations, or for people who were previously given COVID-19 vaccines developed by other firms.

The Novavax vaccine, unlike the three already-approved ones, is a recombinant protein vaccine. In clinical trials conducted outside Japan, it has been confirmed to be about 90 pct effective in preventing infections after the second shots.

According to the ministry, the vaccine is also effective against the highly infectious omicron variant to a certain extent.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press