EU approves Novavax to become fifth Covid-19 vaccine for use in bloc

Novavax expected to start delivering Covid vaccines to European Union in January

A participant in the Novavax vaccine trial at Howard University in Washington receives a dose earlier this year. Photograph: Kenny Holston/The New York Times

The European Union’s drugs regulator has given the green light to a fifth Covid-19 vaccine for use in the 27-nation bloc, granting conditional marketing authorisation to the two-dose vaccine made by the United States biotech company Novavax.

The European Medicines Agency’s decision to grant conditional marketing authorisation for the vaccine for people aged 18 and over, which must be confirmed by the EU’s executive commission, comes as many European nations are battling surges in infections and amid concerns about the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Novavax said it is testing how its vaccines will hold up against the Omicron variant, and like other manufacturers has begun formulating an updated version to better match that variant in case it is eventually needed.

Novavax is expected to start delivering its Covid-19 vaccines to the EU in January, the company said in an email on Monday.


Earlier in the year, Novavax had told the European Union it planned to begin making first small shipments of its vaccine for the bloc towards the end of this year, with the bulk of supplies in 2022, an EU official told Reuters in May.

The EU Commission and the company signed a contract in August for the delivery of up to 200 million doses, of which half is optional. – Reuters, Associated Press