WHO authorizes emergency use of Novavax's updated COVID shot

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows vials labelled "VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19" and a syringe in front of a displayed Novavax logo

(Reuters) - Novavax's updated vaccine has been granted emergency-use authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO) for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 in individuals aged 12 and older, the company said on Tuesday.

The updated Novavax shot, which was authorized in the U.S. last month, targets a descendant of the XBB lineage of the coronavirus that was globally predominant earlier this year.

The emergency use listing helps speed up the regulatory approvals to import and administer the vaccines by member states, according to the WHO.

Novavax missed out on the COVID-19 vaccine windfall, which benefited mRNA rivals, due to manufacturing issues that delayed its filing for regulatory approval during the peak of the pandemic.

Its original COVID shot received U.S. authorization in July 2022, long after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were in use.

Novavax's updated shot uses a more traditional protein-based technology than the mRNA-based vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna.

Shares of Maryland-based vaccine maker Novavax rose 1.8% to $5.6 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Shweta Agarwal)