Atlantic: “mRNA vaccines are extraordinary, NovaVax is better”

Let’s close a loop today.

Last week, drilled down on a warning that caught my eye in the scientific bio-pic “The Code Breaker”:

“Unexpected things happen when you start fiddling with the innards of living cells.”

Specifically, we followed “the science” to a conclusion — contrary to CDC claims —  that the current emergency-approved covid vaccines might have some significant long-term risks.

The pivotal question: How to dodge the risks of the current batch of vaccines?

One possible answer was touted in the left-leaning Atlantic : “mRNA vaccines are extraordinary, NovaVax is better”.

The author, Hilda Bastian is a scientist  and,  was formerly an editor at the National Library of Medicine.

Bastion appropriately acknowledges that:

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been extraordinary lifesavers in this pandemic, and may well be heading us into a new golden age of vaccine development.

But after reviewing a vaccine being tested by Novavax, she observes that:

The latest Novavax data confirm that it’s possible to achieve the same efficacy against COVID-19 with a more familiar technology that more people may be inclined to trust.

More specifically…

> The Novavax vaccine is based on road-tested “old school” med-technology (i.e. not mRNA or DNA based)

The protein-subunit approach used by Novavax was first implemented for the hepatitis B vaccine, which has been used in the U.S. since 1986.

The pertussis vaccine, which is required for almost all children in U.S. public schools, is also made this way.

> According to recent test data, the Novavax vaccine’s 96% efficacy rate is in line with that of the current emergency-approved mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna)

> The Novavax vaccine also has a substantially lower rate of side effects than the emergency-authorized mRNA vaccines.

 Test data shows that about 40 percent of people who receive Novavax report fatigue after the second dose, as compared with 65 percent for Moderna and more than 55 percent for Pfizer.

Based on the results of Novavax’s U.K. clinical trials, side effects (including but not limited to fatigue) aren’t just less frequent; they’re milder too.

> Novavax’s simpler technology is  easier to produce than the mRNA and DNA vaccines … and can be stored with “normal” refrigeration for a year.

So, Bastian concludes:

Among several wonderful options, the more old-school vaccine from Novavax combines ease of manufacture with high efficacy and lower side effects.

For the moment, it’s the best COVID-19 vaccine we have.


P.S. Bastian notes that:

The CDC has also made a point of debunking the circulating falsehood that COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA.

As I laid out in prior posts, following the science leads me to a different conclusion.

But, if Novavax succeeds, that’s a moot issue.


DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical professional or scientist — just a curious, self-interested guy.  So, don’t take anything that I say or write as medical advice. Get that from your doctor!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: