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23 May 2022

New Covid-19 shot Nuvaxovid added to Ireland's vaccine arsenal

Nuvaxovid

A new Covid-19 which is said to be very effect in preventing symptomatic, moderate and severe disease caused by the virus has been approved for use in Ireland.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has accepted new recommendations in relation to Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme that will see Nuvaxovid becoming the latest vaccine to be administered in Ireland.

Among the attributes of this vaccine is that it can be used by people how may have had an allergy to the four other vaccines used to date.

A Department of Health statement said the recommendations were made by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), who has endorsed these recommendations.

It said that following the European Medicines Agency (EMA) granting of conditional marketing authorisation for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine Nuvaxovid (also known as NVX-CoV2373), NIAC have recommended that this vaccine can be used in those aged 18 years of age and older. 

Minister Donnelly said: “I welcome this update to our booster vaccination programme, and I would like to sincerely thank all of the members of the NIAC for their continued work in support of Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. 

“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 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. 

“This vaccine will also be suitable for those individuals who could not avail of another COVID-19 vaccine because of a medical contra-indication e.g. allergic reaction. The vaccine is given in two doses with an interval of three weeks between doses.  

“The main purpose of vaccination is to prevent serious illness and death – COVID-19 vaccines continue to prove remarkably effective in this regard and so it is really important that anyone yet to receive any course of COVID-19 vaccine does so as soon as possible, including those aged 5 – 11 years who are eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine.

“The evidence also shows that those who have been boosted are less susceptible to infection and, if infected, are less infectious to others, compared with those who have not been boosted. If you are yet to receive your booster, please do so as soon as possible – it will protect you and those around you,” said the Minister.

The Department of Health and the HSE will now work roll out the vaccine.

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