October 20, 2022- Novavax: The Brand-New Vaccine Against the Oldest Variant
On July 19th, 2022, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and voted to add the more traditional Novavax Covid-19 vaccine to those allowed to be administered to persons over the age of 18 in the United States under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) granted July 13th, 2022. Many of us have learned over the past couple of years that when an EUA is granted, the proper long term safety testing isn’t done. If you take a vaccine or therapy under EUA, you are the test subject.
We have encountered questions as to whether Novavax, a more “traditional” vaccine, might have a safer profile than Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen which use novel genetic transfer technologies.
In science speak, the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine is a protein vaccine based on a spike protein subunit and employing a novel saponin Matrix-MTM adjuvant. It was manufactured against the Wuhan strain (alpha variant) of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although it appears to have some efficacy against other variants, including Omicron, the sample size for those results is small since the data was collected during a time when the alpha strain was dominant. In non-science speak, Novavax is a brand-new vaccine against an ancient strain of SARS-CoV-2.
Although the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine is a more traditional type of vaccine, there are two main concerns.
Novavax uses a newer saponin (soap-like) adjuvant that is similar to the body’s lipids (fats). There is concern that stimulating the immune system concomitant with the presence of the adjuvant may induce the body to create antibodies to the adjuvant which may cross-react and attack the body’s lipids, creating an autoimmune condition.
Before 2021, Many of us had never heard the term Myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle. The term is becoming too familiar, especially among children.
Concerningly, there is a very strong signal indicating that receipt of any Covid-19 vaccine, including Novavax, is causing myocarditis in some recipients, especially young men with higher levels of testosterone. CDC data reports that the incidence of vaccine-induced myocarditis from the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines ranges from 80-97 cases per million doses in males from 18-29 years old following the second dose. (Id.)
Alarmingly, the CDC data shows the incidence in children from 12-17 to be 153 cases per million doses (following the second dose), and in male children, 16-17 years old, cases of myocarditis were 139 cases per million doses following the second vaccination and 198 cases per million doses following the booster. (Id.; See the table above) The development of myocarditis following vaccination is temporally related, occurring 1-7 days following vaccination. (Id.) This indicates causality.
Data from Israel and other credible sources suggest that cases of myocarditis may be 2-10 times higher than these figures reported by the CDC. Disturbingly, a new prospective study out of Thailand found that almost 29.24 percent of young males (aged 13-18) exhibited a cardiovascular abnormality following the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. In fact, 1 in 43 of the boys were diagnosed with myocarditis, pericarditis, or subclinical myocarditis/pericarditis.
Is Novavax a Safer Option?
In the wake of the concerning data regarding myocarditis following Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, many are wondering if Novavax is a safer option. Preliminary data from early clinical trials and post-marketing data indicate that it is NOT SAFER.
Reports of vaccine-induced myocarditis ranged from 48-144 cases/million doses for the Novavax vaccine in adults. (Id; See the table below) It is worth noting that the rates will likely be higher in males under the age of 18 years, given that myocarditis rates from the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines peak in males between 15 and 17 years old. (Id.)
In terms of Covid-19, Novavax is not a safer option. While it is not experimental gene therapy, it is a novel vaccine that has not undergone the proper long term safety studies. It’s not safe. Don’t fall for it. We reiterate that your body’s immunity and natural antibodies are still the strongest and most resilient force combatting Covid-19 illness. Our advice remains the same. Follow a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, get adequate exercise, reduce your stress in any way possible, and trust your body’s response to illness with proper support through vitamins and supplements. And, always look to the resources at AFLDS.org when you have questions.
 Mansanguan, S.; Charunwatthana, P.; Piyaphanee, W.; Dechkhajorn, W.; Poolcharoen, A.; Mansanguan, C. Cardiovascular Manifestation of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7, 196. https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202208.0151/v1