Covid: MHRA approve Nuvaxovid vaccine to protect against the deadly disease – side effects

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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Covid vaccine, Nuvaxoid, after it met the required safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Developed by Novavax, this is now the fifth Covid vaccine authorised by the UK’s independent medicines regulator. Sajid Javid added: “It’s a testament to the country’s first-rate research and development capabilities for vaccines.

“The next step will be for the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation [JCVI] to consider its use as part of the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

MHRA Chief Executive, Dr June Raine, said: “Our approval of Nuvaxovid today follows a rigorous review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of this vaccine.”

However, work will continue to monitor all Covid vaccines “to ensure that their benefits in protecting people against COVID-19 disease continue to outweigh any risks”.

Dr Raine added: “We also carry out independent batch testing on all the approved COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that every batch meets the expected quality standards.”

Commenting on the Nuvaxoid Covid vaccine is Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, the chair of the Independent Commission on Human Medicines.

“Nuvaxovid is distinct from other COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the UK,” he said.

“[The vaccine] uses recombinant protein-based technology,” Sir Pirmohamed pointed out.

Recombinant protein-based technology has been “used for many years” in the development of other vaccines, such as Hepatitis B.

Sir Pirmohamed highlighted that in reaching its decision, the MHRA “considered the results of two large clinical trials involving nearly 50,000 participants”.

Nuvaxovid has been approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since December, 2021.

The EMA highlighted side effects of Nuvaxovid, which may soon be part of the UK vaccination programme.

Regarded as “undesirable effects”, the most common adverse reactions included:

  • Injection site tenderness
  • Injection site pain
  • Fatigue
  • Myalgia
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Arthralgia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

What is myalgia and arthralgia?

Myalgia describes muscle aches and pain whereas arthralgia describes joint stiffness.

The EMA noted: “Adverse reactions were usually mild to moderate in severity.”

On average, local reactions lasted for up to two days following vaccination.

As for “systemic events”, these only lasted for up to one day after vaccination.

“Overall, there was a higher incidence of adverse reactions in younger age groups,” the EMA added.

Reactions, however, were most frequently reported after two doses of Nuvaxovid than one.

If you are yet to be vaccinated, there are walk-in centres offering first, second, and booster vaccinations.

Other vaccination centres include some pharmacies and certain doctor clinics and hospitals.

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