Health Care

Indonesia becomes first nation to approve Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

Indonesia became the first nation to approve the Novavax coronavirus vaccine.

Novavax announced Monday it received emergency approval from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control of the Republic of Indonesia.

The vaccine will be manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. and marketed in Indonesia under the name Covovax.

“The first authorization of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine exemplifies our commitment to equitable global access and will fill a vital need for Indonesia, which despite being the fourth most populous nation on earth, continues to work to procure sufficient vaccine for its population,” Stanley C. Erck, president and chief executive officer of Novavax, said.

The authorization in Indonesia will help a country struggling to inoculate its people against COVID-19; only 36 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from Reuters.

Indonesia’s Novavax approval also marks the first authorization for a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax noted, in contrast with the mRNA vaccines such as those from Pfizer and Moderna.

“This is a landmark moment for Novavax and our partner, Serum Institute of India, and it is the first of many authorizations that Novavax expects in the coming weeks and months for our vaccine globally,” Erck said. 

Novavax said the vaccine is easier to store and transport than other COVID-19 vaccines on the market, making it a better candidate for supplying poorer countries.

The company has also applied for emergency authorization in India and the Philippines, and recently submitted applications for authorizations in the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada and Australia. 

They’ve also applied for emergency use listing with the World Health Organization.

Tags COVID-19 vaccine Indonesia Moderna Novavax Pfizer

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