WHO Picks Antigen Composition for Updated COVID-19 Vaccines

Pharmacies offer Novavax Nuvaxovid XBB.1.5 vaccines globally
Gerd Altmann
Geneva (Precision Vaccinations News)

As of April 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that nearly all circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants reported in publicly available databases are JN.1 derived coronavirus variants.

On April 26, 2024, the WHO stated in a media release that virus evolution is expected to continue from JN.1, and future formulations of COVID-19 vaccines should aim to induce enhanced neutralizing antibody responses to JN.1 and its descendent lineages.

The WHO says the regular review of the available vaccine effectiveness evidence (VE) is critical to assessing future versions.

Given the neutralizing antibody responses to early JN.1 descendent lineage and the evidence from early Relative VE studies against JN.1, the continued use of the current monovalent XBB. 1.5 formulation will offer people protection.

Furthermore, by WHO SAGE policy, vaccination programs should continue to use any WHO emergency-use listed or prequalified COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccination should not be delayed in anticipation of access to vaccines with an updated composition.

This is essential news since recent research says people seek COVID-19 vaccine options in 2024. 

In the United States, the WHO and the U.S. FDA have authorized Novavax Inc.'s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine.

Nuvaxovid™XBB.1.5 protein-based vaccine is currently used globally in individuals 12 and older who have previously been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and have not already been vaccinated with a recently updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

John C. Jacobs, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax Inc., shared his perspective with Precision Vaccination News. "Novavax has been developing and manufacturing a monovalent protein-based JN.1 COVID-19 vaccine at-risk to ensure readiness for this fall."

"Today's recommendation by the WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition is an important step to help ensure access to a non-mRNA protein-based vaccine option for those at highest risk globally."

Novavax's vaccines integrate the company's proprietary nanoparticle technology, Matrix-M™, an adjuvant to enhance immune responses and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

As of April 2024, Novavax vaccines are generally available at pharmacies in the U.S.

The U.S. FDA previously announced that the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will hold a public discussion on May 16, 2024, to recommend the selected strain(s) to be included in the 2024-2025 formula for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee

Article by
Donald Hackett