• Since Monday, France has had a new anti-Covid vaccine, Nuvaxovid, from the American firm Novavax.

  • Developed according to a classic and known technology, it could convince the millions of French people not yet vaccinated who did not want to receive a messenger RNA vaccine.

  • Among the expected deliveries, the Ministry of Health will sanctuary 600,000 doses for Overseas, where vaccination coverage is much lower than in mainland France.

Awaited for many months, the little new one has finally arrived!

Since Monday, France officially has a fifth vaccine in its anti-Covid arsenal.

Launched by the American firm Novavax, the Nuvaxovid serum will now be delivered in thousands of doses to France.

However, while vaccination centers have not attracted crowds in recent weeks, a very specific expectation is based on this new vaccine: to convince the 4 million French people who have still not received the slightest dose to date, to jump finally the step of vaccination.

Can this strategy work?

Isn't the vaccine coming too late?

Convince the holdouts of messenger RNA

Authorized in December by the European Medicines Agency and in mid-January in France by the High Authority for Health (HAS), the Novavax vaccine, unlike those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, does not use the technology messenger RNA (mRNA), which worries and defies many people eligible for the vaccine.

Nuvaxovid is a “subunit” vaccine: it contains a component of the virus – and not the whole virus like the most traditional vaccines – introduced into the body to trigger an immune response.

A technology known for a long time, already used in particular in vaccines against whooping cough or hepatitis B. A recipe supposed to make it "an option that can convince some, who were hesitant, to receive their first dose", estimates Silvia Taylor, Global Director of Novavax.

Nuvaxovid cannot be used as a booster dose, for lack of a clinical trial, so it can only be administered as a primary vaccination, if it finds its audience.

“I was desperately waiting for a vaccine without mRNA.

Today I hesitate »

“I have intended to be vaccinated since the start of the campaign”, assured Jean at the beginning of January, when the Covid-19 epidemic was racing under the effect of the ultra contagious Omicron variant, less virulent. than the previous strains, but which has led to millions of contaminations in France in recent weeks.

The 50-year-old was then waiting "desperately for a vaccine without mRNA, too many people around me had side effects", and then crossed "fingers for Novavax to come out very quickly".

But in the meantime, the indicators have evolved, and the epidemic is now in very marked decline.

What push the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, to consider the reduction or even the abolition of the vaccine pass before July.

So, isn't this vaccine coming a bit late?


But it may not go through Jean.

“I waited impatiently for the Novavax vaccine, I even contacted my pharmacist to ask her to reserve two doses for me, he explains this Monday at

20 Minutes


But in the meantime, I contracted the coronavirus, and with the latest announcements from the government which suggests that the vaccine pass could soon be canceled, today I hesitate to get vaccinated.

My decision is not made yet”.

Lower vaccination coverage in the Overseas Territories

Among them, the overseas territories, where vaccination coverage is much lower.

Especially since the epidemic is not yet over.

In Reunion, where two thirds of the population are vaccinated (66%), Omicron is still disturbing the island.

“The virological indicators and hospitalizations are certainly down there, but still remain the highest”, underlines Public Health France in its latest epidemiological bulletin.

The Novavax serum, whose preliminary data show that it would produce “neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant”, according to the Canadian health authorities, who have just authorized it.

And if today, France has a vaccination rate of 78.8% of its total population, in detail, significant disparities exist.

While in Paris, vaccination coverage exceeds 83%, in Martinique and Guadeloupe, the figures drop to 40.8 and 38.8% respectively, according to figures from the Ministry of Health, and to only 32.8% in Guyana, which makes it the least vaccinated region in France.

600,000 protected doses for the Overseas Territories

In an attempt to change the situation, the Ministry of Health, which is awaiting its first delivery, has indicated that 600,000 doses will be sanctuarized for the Overseas Territories, with a first shipment of around 100,000 doses, corresponding to the requests made. on the spot.

The Novavax vaccine “can unblock the situation in the recalcitrant, recently advanced Dr. Jacques Breton, doctor in Cayenne president of the URPS doctors, during an exchange between liberal practitioners and the Regional Health Agency (ARS) from Guyana.

We have to promote it.

We have people opposed to messenger RNA.

People want to have a choice and the main thing is that they are vaccinated.

Comorbidities are very important in Guyana, especially among very young people.

We also have elderly people who are at risk,”

he added.

However, according to clinical trials, Nuvaxovid is 90% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 100% effective in preventing serious illness.

It remains to be seen whether requests will actually take off.

In practice, "interested Guyanese can report and pre-book their dose", invites the ARS.

And for now, we are far from the rush for slots to receive this traditional technology vaccine.

"To date, around 630 people have registered", indicates to

20 Minutes

 the Guyanese health agency, which for the time being has "ordered 1,200 doses" and is ready to ask for more if demand increases.

In total, France is to receive 3.2 million doses of Novavax in the first quarter.


Covid-19: Olivier Véran maintains the lifting of restrictions in mid-March despite the "collapse" of Omicron


Coronavirus: Why is the booster dose shunned by adolescents and their parents?

  • Vaccination pass

  • Covid-19

  • Coronavirus

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  • Covid vaccine

  • Overseas

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