Novavax Vaccine Trial Expected to Close Enrollment February 8th

Health Center

Tribal Members 18 to 65 Years Old Encouraged to Join Nooksack Vaccine Study

Younger people may not get offered immunizations with the mRNA vaccines for several months. They may want to know more about the Novavax Trial. 

Native people are 3.5 times more likely to become infected and 1.8 times more likely to die if they get infected over all age groups, but the most worrisome fact is that for those between the ages of 20 and 50, the mortality rate is 10 times higher than the general population. This is not biology; it is the social determinants of health, like being an essential worker and having to go to work when others stay home. 

The Novavax Vaccine Trial will stop enrolling new participants around February 8th, in just 3 weeks. The study will offer Native people a chance to receive a vaccine that is made in the same way Hepatitis B, HPV and some influenza vaccines are made — a tried and true technology. The vaccine also is about 10 times more immunogenic than the mRNA vaccines. This is not likely to make the vaccine more effective but may make this type of vaccine last considerably longer, potentially much longer than the mRNA vaccines.

For every 3 people in the study, 2 will get the new vaccine. 1 out 3 will receive a placebo, but once you have received both shots and if you have an opportunity to receive the mRNA vaccines, you can ask to be ‘unblinded’ and learn which group you were in. If you received the placebo you could then get the mRNA vaccine.

If any Nooksack Tribal member wants to participate they can call the study community outreach number and see about participation at 360-312-2268.

Participant Criteria:

  • Must be 18 to 65 years old and a member of a federally recognized tribe and must be eligible for care at Nooksack or Lummi clinics.
  • Cannot be pregnant or breast feeding or have immunodeficiency that is significant.
  • Cannot have already had COVID and may not currently be in quarantine.  
  • Can have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, increase lipids, even cancer, IF they are medially stable.
  • Participants will be reimbursed for their time and effort ($200 for each of the first two visits and at total of $1,250 over the 2-year-long study)

Especially for people 20-50 years old, who may not be eligible for the current Tribal vaccine, this may be quickest way to be protected from the infection.

Frank James MD

Health Officer
Nooksack Indian Tribe

Learn more at COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine Trial

Read the document here.