Novavax vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns
The Novavax vaccine meets Defense Department requirements because it has the WHO's emergency use approval and is used in Europe and other regions.
A COVID-19 vaccine that could soon win federal approval may offer a boost for the U.S. military: an opportunity to get shots into some of the thousands of service members who have refused the other coronavirus vaccines for religious reasons.
Already, at least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
The Novavax vaccine meets Defense Department requirements because it has the World Health Organization’s emergency use approval and is used in Europe and other regions.
Military officials say many troops who refuse the shots cite certain COVID-19 vaccines’ remote connection to abortions.
Laboratory-grown cell lines descended from fetuses that were aborted decades ago were used in some early-stage testing of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and to grow viruses used to manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccines do not contain fetal cells.
Novavax, however, says that ”no human fetal-derived cell lines or tissue” were used in the development, manufacture or production of its vaccine.
In a 21-0 vote with one abstention, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency authorize Novavax's two-dose vaccine.
An FDA summary found the Novavax vaccine had 90% efficacy in protecting people against mild, moderate and severe disease.