Covid-19, Novavax does not scratch the “hard core” of those who want to do without the vaccine

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The awaited resumption of bookings and accessions to the vaccination campaign linked to the arrival of the Novavax vaccine there wasn’t. At least for now. Consolidated data are expected, perhaps also considering those of the weekend. Our country has received one million and 23 thousand doses as the first batch and in the first days of administration, up to the time of publication of this article, they were inoculated just over 10 thousand doses. The first reactions are lukewarm. Luca Zaia, president of Veneto, admitted that he imagined that the start would have gone better. The hopes of those who imagined to scratch that hard core of vaccine resistantabout 5 million people in Italy, with a product that is in some ways more traditional than the mRna vaccines developed in record time, remain disappointed for now.

The technology used for the Nuvaxovid vaccine – this is the trade name of the new product against Covid-19 – is in fact a technology that is far from recent, despite being further perfected: it has been used for over thirty years, especially in childhood vaccines against l hepatitis B, meningococcus B, herpes zoster and papilloma virus. It was approved by the EMA in December for conditional introduction to the market, while in the United States the company experienced problems at the plants and postponed the request for emergency approval.

The vaccine, technically known as NVX-CoV2373, is based on the technology of recombinant proteins: molecules capable of assembling to form virus-like particles on the basis of which the organism produces its immune response, inducing the formation of antibodies. In other words, starting from a specific RNA sequence of the virus, artificial spike proteins are made in the laboratory that are able to assemble into nanoparticles, which in turn are able to mimic the structure of Sars-CoV-2. All together with Matrix-M, a saponin-based adjuvant matrix particle obtained in part from Quillaja saponaria – an evergreen tree of the Quillajaceae family native to central Chile – and obviously without being able to replicate or cause disease. The results of phase 3 of clinical trials on nearly 30 thousand volunteers between the United States and Mexico, released last June, explained that the efficacy is 90%, substantially comparable to that of mRna vaccines, but with fewer side effects: sore head, fatigue and other mild symptoms. Here we had explained further details on practical directions.

In Italy the Novavax vaccine can be given to people with more than 18 years old, with two injections three weeks (21 days) apart. For now, therefore, it does not have the Ema authorization to be used as a booster vaccine. Among the regions that have so far administered more doses is Lazio.

Overall, adherence to the vaccination campaign has dropped a lot in recent weeks. This despite the fact that 11 million people are still missing from the call of the recall, given that only 83.7% of people have been covered in the audience potentially subject to boosters. If, for example, in the week from 3 to 9 January over 4 million doses were administered, in that from 31 January to 6 February it fell to 2.5 million and, finally, between 21 and 28 February to just 818 thousand administrations. .

Many of the people fleeingUkraine at war are not vaccinated (or are with products not authorized in the European Union such as Coronavac di Sinovac, which will be recognized in some way) and it is likely that a partial resumption of administration can be seen in the coming weeks precisely in consideration of the protocol that the Ministry of Health and the regions are thinking about to take care of the people arriving. Thousands of people have already crossed the Italian borders, potentially we could reach 8/900 thousand and the plan of the Ministry of Health is to observe 5 days of quarantine for those who arrive and to provide for swabs and vaccines.

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