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Novavax Vaccine Delivery is Delayed Worldwide

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 13, 2023

Novavax Vaccine Delivery is Delayed Worldwide

Novavax has so far only delivered a fraction of the number of vaccines they initially planned to send around the world. Public officials involved in the Novavax vaccine rollouts report delayed first-quarter shipments in Europe.

Because of this, lower-income countries such as the Philippines are also expecting delays. 

Who is Novavax?

Novavax is a biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally. They do so through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases.

Their corporate website claims that Novavax has more than a decade of experience in contending with some of the world’s most devastating diseases. These diseases include COVID-19, seasonal influenza, RSV, Ebola, MERS, and SARS.

Novavax vaccine shipment delays

Novavax says it has completed delivery of approximately 10 million vaccine doses to Indonesia. Shipments of several shots supposedly arrived in Australia and New Zealand on Monday. The company noted that they are moving as fast as they can to ship their contracted supplies for this quarter.

Novavax spokesperson Amy Speak said some shipments have been held up by regulatory processes. Speak added that those are waiting in a distribution warehouse to go to healthcare providers.

The company missed several 2021 targets which led buyers to turn to other biotechnology companies, such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Chinese drugmakers. 

manufacturing and logistics issues

Approval from the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the use of the Novavax vaccine for emergency use only on December 20, 2021. The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing listed Nuvaxovid (NVX-CoV2373) for that purpose.

Novavax used the trade name Nuvaxovid for manufacturing in Europe and was approved by the European Medicines Agency. The Serum Institute of India manufactured the vaccine under the trade name Covovax, with the approval of The Drugs Controller General of India

Novavax Vaccine: Causes for the delays

Novavax cites late regulatory approval from the WHO as one cause of delay. They also cited export limitations of the Serum Institute of India and delayed approval of individual vaccine batches by European regulators. Officials in those regions say the regulators must vet the shots before they can be distributed.

India says the Serum Institute of India shipped around 10 million shots to Indonesia in November and December 2021. This was disputed by An Indonesian official who declined to be named. He says the country only received 200,000 doses. Novavax says the Indian government has cleared 20 million Serum shots for shipping to Indonesia.

Renegotiating contracts in the Philippines

As of this writing, none of the 30 million Novavax vaccine shots it ordered has reached the Philippines. An abundance of 96 million doses in its national stockpile has the Philippines renegotiating its Novavax contract. National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. says that the country has not received any of the 30 million shots it ordered.

The Philippines has authorized nine COVID vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac. Novavax did not comment on the Philippine deliveries or a new contract. However, the company did say it is working with governments to meet regulatory requirements for the release of doses.

Novavax previously said it would roll out shots in Europe by January but that too has been delayed. At least two European Union countries have pushed back their planned timelines for administering Novavax shots.

Key takeaways

The delivery of the Novavax vaccine worldwide has seen all kinds of delays due to manufacturing and logistics issues. The Maryland-based biotechnology company has yet to deliver on its promised vaccine rollouts across Europe and Southeast Asia.
The WHO approved the use of the Novavax vaccine last year, but Indonesia, the Philippines, and a pair of European nations have yet to see full delivery of their Novavax vaccines.

For more on coronavirus, click here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 13, 2023

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