Technical data

Novavax vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 17

Date published:

August 25, 2022

Targeted audience:

General public

On July 28, 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) tentatively approved the Nuvaxovid (Novavax) COVID-19 vaccine (Biocelect Pty Ltd/Novavax Inc) for use in adolescents 12-17 years of age.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) assessed data on immunogenicity, efficacy, safety and international recommendations to make recommendations on the use of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in this age group .

The Australian Government has accepted ATAGI’s advice that adolescents aged 12-17 can receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for their first course of vaccination against COVID-19.

Teenagers aged 12 to 17 will be able to enroll to receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine starting September 5, 2022.

ATAGI Recommendations

Novavax primary course

  • ATAGI recommends vaccination against COVID-19 for all adolescents aged 12 to 17.
  • Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax can be used for the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination in this age group.
  • Compared to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), there is less information on the safety and immunogenicity of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The recommended dosing schedule for the primary course of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. The manufacturer’s dosing schedule is
    2 doses, at least 4 weeks apart.
    • Although there is no evidence of extended dosing intervals for Novavax, the extended 8 week interval is consistent with other COVID-19 vaccines and evidence from other COVID-19 vaccines has suggested that a longer dose interval may improve vaccine efficacy.
    • The longer dosing interval may also reduce the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, especially for people most at risk for these side effects (men aged 12-39).
  • Severely immunocompromised people are recommended to receive 3 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, for more details see the Immunocompromised COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Guide.

Novavax boosters

Novavax is not registered by the TGA for use as a booster dose in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age, but ATAGI has indicated that Novavax can be used as a booster in this age group if no other brand of COVID-19 vaccine is not suitable for this person. .

Background information

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is an advanced protein-based vaccine. Each 0.5ml dose contains 5 micrograms of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and 50 micrograms of Matrix-M as an adjuvant.

The ATAGI Clinical Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine Suppliers and related documents will be updated shortly.

ATAGI will continue to evaluate further data on the safety and effectiveness of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine as it emerges, including in special populations and as a booster vaccine. ATAGI will provide updated recommendations as needed.