A Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Novavax has become the fifth to be authorised for use in Ireland, with its rollout expected from next month.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed on Saturday afternoon that the ‘Nuvaxovid’ vaccine will be used in those aged 18 years and over following the recommendation of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).
The vaccine is suitable for those who could not avail of another due to an allergic reaction, he said.
“This is the fifth Covid-19 vaccine authorised for use in Ireland and is a welcome addition to our vaccination programme as it provides another option for adults who remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated,” said Mr Donnelly.
“This particular vaccine, Nuvaxovid, is a spike protein-based vaccine, and is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved that is based on that used in existing vaccines with which we are very familiar including Hepatitis B and whooping cough.
“The vaccine has been shown to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic, moderate and severe disease.
“We expect the vaccine to be available next month, and I would urge the small number of people who have yet to come forward for a primary course of a Covid-19 vaccine to do so.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) previously granted conditional marketing authorisation for the vaccine, with Niac recommending its use, the chief medical officer endorsing this recommendation and the Minister later accepting it.
The vaccine is given in two doses, with an interval of three weeks between doses.
Work is now under way in the Department of Health and the HSE to operationalise its rollout.