Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Proceeds To The Final Stage Of Testing

(Photo by KATIA CHRISTODOULOU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A fifth COVID-19 vaccine has reached the final testing stage before public approval in the United States. 

The Novavax, Inc. shot works differently than the two vaccines currently in public use by Pfizer and Moderna, according to the Associated Press (AP). The vaccine will need about 30,000 trial participants to prove that it is ready for public distribution, the AP reported. (RELATED: Trump Administration Holding Additional Vaccine Doses Until 2021, Likely To Fall Short Of 2020 Goal)

It will take a multitude of vaccines in order for the U.S. to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus in a timely manner, experts say.

“If you want to have enough vaccine to vaccinate all the people in the U.S. who you’d like to vaccinate — up to 85% or more of the population — you’re going to need more than two companies,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told the AP Monday. 

The Novavax shot is a more typical, protein-based vaccine that can be stored at normal refrigeration levels, according to the AP. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, and the Pfizer doses must be stored at extremely low temperatures. 

The other two vaccines in final testing stages are made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. A U.S. study of the AstraZeneca vaccine is still recruiting volunteers, but British regulators are reportedly close to clearing the drug for public use.

The Johnson & Johnson shot has about 45,000 volunteers enrolled and is expected to have results sometime in January, the AP reported. It only requires one dose to be fully effective, unlike the other vaccines that have been approved thus far.