As the Bay Area starts to level off in its latest COVID-19 surge, there is a new vaccine up for debate that doctors hope could help reduce the next spike.
“What I’m hoping for, Novavax being a more traditional vaccine, anyone who has been hesitant taking the vaccine will be more comfortable in taking this one,” said UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi.
Gandhi explained that Novavax, a protein-based vaccine doesn’t use MRNA or DNA, that’s been a source of concern for some who have avoided vaccination.
Instead, this uses a combination of spike proteins and immune boosting ingredients to fight off coronavirus. She believes the benefits go beyond the initial vaccine.
“When you mix vaccines, we get a broader response. So, I could see this as a booster for older people and vulnerable populations this winter,” she said.
The newest vaccine could be cleared in a matter of days. With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee unanimously voting Tuesday to recommend going forward with approval.
Similar to vaccines already on the market, it comes with some risks. Ghandi told NBC Bay Area Tuesday that young men could see the same type of minor heart inflammation after their second dose, but at a much lower rate.
“If you extend the dosing interval between eight weeks myocarditis and that mild risk is even lower,” said Gandhi.
A vaccine varity that Gandhi hopes will convince more to roll up their sleeve.
“If for some reason we get a worse or more variable variant, everyone will need boosting. Not just older people, but everyone and that is important to have more vaccines for that time, if that happens,” she said.