A third Covid-19 vaccine, called Novavax, has been approved for use and will be arriving to Aotearoa this month. 

Today, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the rollout. Aotearoa has secured 10.72 million doses of Novavax. 

The Novavax vaccine will be available for people aged 18 and over, he said. 

According to The Conversation, the Novavax vaccine uses different technology to Pfizer and other vaccines like AstraZeneca. 

This vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine, which means that it introduces "a part of the virus to the immune system, but don't contain any live components of the virus", The Conversation wrote. 

"The protein part of the vaccine is the coronavirus’ “spike protein”. This is part of the other COVID-19 vaccines in use but in a different form."

This vaccine contains a copy of the SARS-COV-2 spike protein to teach your body how to recognise and fight Covid-19. It is currently approved for use in 38 countries. 

 Hipkins said “Novavax is a protein-based Covid-19 vaccine and while the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine remains the preferred vaccine of most New Zealanders, for some people, the arrival of Novavax will be the extra incentive required to get vaccinated against Covid-19".

 “There’s no reason to doubt that with the introduction of Novavax, New Zealand can continue to nudge up our vaccination rates.

"We’re already one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world – at 95 percent of people aged 12 and over – and we can go higher still, which will make us all safer."

The first doses of Novavax are expected to arrive this month and officials are working to confirm the delivery schedule and rollout start date of the vaccine, he said.  

“In the meantime, work is underway to prepare for the use of Novavax in the immunisation programme. This includes workforce training and ensuring logistics measures are in place to ensure that those who want to be vaccinated with the Novavax vaccine will have this option,” Hipkins said.

For people taking Novavax, it is recommended that a second dose is administered three weeks after the first dose.

People who have received another Covid-19 vaccine as their first dose can get Novavax as their second - this should occur at least 28 days are the first dose.

Top Image: Person getting their Covid-19 vaccine. (File photo) Photo: StefaNikolic/iStock 

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