Novavax vaccine approval to have big benefits for BCS area

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - With Novavax getting unanimous approval from the FDA for the ongoing authorization process for a new vaccine option for COVID-19, there’s big news for the Brazos Valley.

That Novavax vaccine is being manufactured in the BioCorridor located in the BCS area.

This vaccine is very different from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines not only in the way it works, but also in the way it’s made. But what stands out most for folks in Aggieland is that it’s being made right here.

“A local company FujiFilm Disoynth Biotechnologies making a global impact in the fight against this this terrible pandemic of COVID-19,” said Matt Prochaska, Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation President and CEO.

Even though the approval comes after the peak of COVID infections, it’s still a significant announcement. Especially for the those at the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development & Manufacturing who are working alongside FujiFilm to manufacture the vaccine.

“So very grateful of course their manufacturing the vaccine for Novavax, and what it means is more employment opportunities here. We’re into hundreds of employees with FujiFilm,” Prochaska said.

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney likes to point out that it’s innovation - not imitation - that’s driving this vaccine as this one works differently inside the body than either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“Like you do with Hepatitis B or shingles you inject the protein in so we’re not talking about what some folks have been concerned about manipulating the body to do things or doing something, is time test that’s safe all right and that will have the desired results,” Mooney said.

And innovation means business.

“When you think about the federal government and the investment of $265 million with Fujifilm Dioshynth Biotechnologies for this solution and this new vaccine with Novavax, again it’s a game changer and it is big news for our community and big news, really, for the world,” said Prochaska.

The vaccine was found to be 90% effective among adults 18 to 65 and about 70% effective for adults over age 65.

Novavax’s vaccine would include two doses given three weeks apart. A third booster would be given after six months. The FDA must next make a decision on authorizing.

It may still be a while before the Novavax vaccine is available. The CDC has yet to schedule a meeting of its advisors for final approval.

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