The Biden administration announced Monday that it would purchase 3.2 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
It will be offered at no cost to states and federal partners.
“We remain committed to working to ensure that anyone eligible who wants a vaccine can get one,” said Jason Roos of the Health and Human Services Department. “While more than two-thirds of the American public are already fully vaccinated, we must maintain a sense of urgency to ensure all eligible individuals get vaccinated, particularly heading into the fall."
The Novavax vaccine is protein-based. It's made with a more conventional technology than the Pfizer and Moderna shots, which used mRNA technology.
Novavax is still awaiting authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. According to The New York Times, the company still needs to prove its manufacturing process meets FDA standards.
In clinical trials, the company said its two-dose vaccine showed about 90% efficacy against COVID-19. However, those trials were conducted prior to the omicron variant becoming the dominant strain.
Novavax said the most common side effects were headache, nausea, injection site tenderness and fatigue.