Statement on the arrival of the Novavax vaccine and COVID-19 pills

20 January 2022: Medicines Australia welcomes the TGA’s provisional approval for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and the provisional approval for two medicines for the symptoms of COVID-19 (Pfizer’s ‘Paxlovid’ and Merck Sharp & Dohme’s ‘Lagevrio’).  

“The Novavax vaccine, called ‘Nuvaxovid’, has now passed the TGA’s rigorous assessment and approval processes. Adding this vaccine to our arsenal is another step forward for Australia as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CEO of Medicines Australia, Elizabeth de Somer. 

The Novavax vaccine is the first protein COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in Australia, but the technology has been around for decades. Vaccines to prevent hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are both based on similar protein technology.  

The TGA has also provisionally approved two oral COVID-19 treatments for Australia, ‘Paxlovid’ from Pfizer and ‘Lagevrio’ from Merck Sharp & Dohme. Both companies are members of Medicines Australia. 

“Welcoming not one, but two new treatments for Australians who are suffering from the COVID-19 virus is another demonstration of pioneering medical technology,” said Ms de Somer.  

The two treatments are oral medicines, the first of their kind, and will be available to Australian adults who are at risk of serious illness from the virus, building on the protection from COVID-19 vaccines.  

Medicines Australia will continue to work closely with all our partners across healthcare to ensure Australians have access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.  

For further information, visit the Department of Health website for accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. 


For media enquiries and interview opportunities, please contact:
Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 /