RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There are some additional weapons on the way to fight against COVID-19, including the recent introduction of the Novavax vaccine, plus the new Pfizer and Moderna booster shots expected as early as next month.
The CDC reports 67 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties have a high level of community spread of COVID-19.
Wake County has a 19.5% positivity rate.
The climbing cases come as just 49 percent of people in Wake County have gotten a booster shot, after the initial vaccination process.
Now, there’s a new vaccine available to boost those numbers.
“Novavax is another company, a smaller company, and it made another vaccine that’s very different from the other ones,” said Dr. David Wohl with UNC.
He said it’s made using the old, typical vaccine technology.
“Not the mRNA-type technology, so some folks may feel more comfortable for some reason with that,” added Wohl.
Novavax is also reporting it is effective against the newer COVID-19 variants.
“It’s only authorized now for the initial series and not a booster. I wouldn’t be surprised, and I think I would encourage the government to think about making Novavax available as a booster,” explained Woh. “Because that may provide us with even another way to protect ourselves.”
State health officials report that as of the end of July, the Omicron variant made up 100 percent of recent cases. And 59 percent of the cases were from the B.A.5 sub-variant.
Pfizer and Moderna are also expected to make their Omicron-targeted shots available as early as September or October.
“It’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich of a newer vaccine that protects against BA.5, as well as the original vaccine,” said Wohl. “It will provide just as much protection as another booster would, with an added, on top of that benefit of a vaccine that’s directed more against BA.5.”
Health officials do not know yet if there will be any restrictions on who is eligible to receive the upcoming Pfizer and Moderna booster shots.
Right now, anyone 18 and older can receive Novavax if they have not yet been vaccinated.