Dutch gov’t ordered 840,000 Novavax Covid jabs; Only 1,000 shots used
The Netherlands purchased 840,000 doses of the Novavax vaccine against Covid-19 for approximately 15 million euros, but nobody seems to want the protein-based vaccine. So far, less than a thousand Novavax shots have been administered in the Netherlands. And vaccines don't have a long shelf life, Trouw reports.
The Novavax vaccine is made with the classic protein-based technique, in which a coronavirus protein is injected into the recipient to trigger an immune response. The hepatitis B vaccine, for example, is also protein-based. The government purchased the Novavax vaccines as an alternative for people who don't want to get an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or vector vaccine (Janssen) against the coronavirus because the techniques behind those are still young.
But since March 11, when Netherlands residents could start making appointments for a Novavax jab, only 655 people got the shot, according to Trouw. Another 329 people have an appointment for a Novavax jab.
The Ministry of Public Health is disappointed with the meager interest, a spokesperson said to the newspaper. The Ministry is launching a campaign to draw attention to the vaccine, especially in areas with lower vaccination rates like the Bible Belt. The Ministry would not say how much the government spent on these vaccines. But according to Trouw, the Danish health ministry accidentally revealed that they cost about 18 euros per dose. So the Netherlands spent approximately 15 million euros on 840,000 doses.
According to Trouw, the Ministry's information campaign might not have much effect, especially in the Bible Belt. Novavax used fetal cell lines in the vaccine research process, which will not sit well with some anti-abortion Christians, the newspaper wrote.
In response, a spokesperson for the vaccine producer offered a clarification to NL Times, saying, "no human fetal-derived cell lines or tissue, including HEK293 cells, are used in the development, manufacture or production of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373."