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Novavax expects COVID-19 boosters to be available next week

Novavax (NVAX) received FDA authorization for its updated COVID-19 booster dose Tuesday, bringing it one step closer to compete in the commercial vaccine market.

Booster doses for mRNA competitors Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) were approved last month, and the CDC recommended the doses for ages 6 and up.

Novavax chief commercial officer John Trizzino characterized the company's later FDA approval as finishing touches on paperwork.

"It's i-dotting and t-crossing. There were no major issues that needed to be resolved during that process," Trizzino told Yahoo Finance.

Booster doses for mRNA competitors Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) were approved last month, and the CDC recommended the doses for ages 6 and up.

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But the rollout has been hampered by logistical issues both with distributors and with insurance company platforms, slowing uptake of boosters in the first few weeks.

Novavax sees opportunity in the ongoing demand for boosters, while it awaits a final FDA step for its doses for ages 12 and older, according to Trizzino. The CDC had previously recommended all boosters be made available after FDA approval or authorization, and that included Novavax.

"I would expect that the whole process would allow us to start seeing shots in arms taking place next week," Trizzino told Yahoo Finance.

Novavax logo and COVID-19 virus images photographed off Apple devices.
Novavax logo and COVID-19 virus images photographed off Apple devices. (STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021) (STRF/STAR MAX/IPx)

"Vaccinations are going to continue to take place over the next eight weeks," he added.

The company, like others, already has doses ready to ship at distribution sites around the country.

Despite the preparation for mRNA companies, the extra cold storage requirements added a level of complexity that Novavax is unlikely to face, Trizzino said.

"[The mRNA doses are] shipped frozen, and the distributors are thawing and relabeling prior to shipping. And it's our understanding that that's created a backlog," he said.

"We've already arranged where there are situations where a particular facility within that distributor is dedicating to do that process, we're [avoiding] that facility and making sure that we're being fulfilled out of another warehouse," Trizzino said.

Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhem.

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