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Health Canada approves Novavax protein-based COVID-19 vaccine

Nuvaxovid is the fifth COVID-19 vaccine approved in Canada
FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020 file photo shows a vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine ready for use in a trial at St. George’s University hospital in London. On Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, vaccine maker Novavax announced it has asked regulators in India, Indonesia and the Philippines to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 shot. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Health Canada has approved the fifth vaccine against COVID-19.

On Thursday (Feb. 17) morning, the regulator approved Novavax’s protein-based vaccine for people ages 18 and up.

The vaccine, named Nuvaxovid, is a protein-based immunization. Health Canada said clinical trials show that the Novavax vaccine was 90 per cent effective in protecting individuals against COVID-19 one week after the second dose.

The two doses are scheduled to be given 21 days apart. Each dose contains five micrograms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with 50 micrograms of Matrix-M adjuvant.

The Matrix-M adjuvant is made up of 40 nanometer particles based on saponin extracted from the Quillaja saponaria Molina bark, also known as the soap bark tree. According to Health Canada, the adjuvant will help stimulate an immune response to the vaccine.

The most common side effects are redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site, along with general chills, fatigue, fever, muscle aches and nausea.

Rare side effects include hives, abdominal pain and swelling of the lips, face, tongue or airway.

Canada has signed a deal to buy up to 76 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, enough to fully vaccinate the majority of its population.

READ MORE: Vaccinated Canadians can take antigen test instead of PCR for pre-arrival COVID testing


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