Pharmacy Drawer Shanan Beasley draws the COVID-19 vaccine out of a vial at Katherine R. Smith Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 4, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

Santa Clara County began administering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, giving eligible residents another vaccine option to protect themselves from COVID-19.

The two-dose vaccine, which federal regulators approved last month for adults, differs from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in that it has a traditional vaccine composition using non-infectious pieces of coronavirus particles.

Trials including some 30,000 adults in the U.S. and Mexico found the vaccine to be 90.4 percent effective at preventing mild, moderate and severe cases of the virus.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, those trials were conducted prior to the emergence of the delta and omicron variants, but the vaccine is still broadly effective at preventing serious illness and death.

“The county has received our initial shipment of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and it is available to those who are eligible,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, the associate chief medical officer of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “Adding the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to our inventory adds another option to assist us in reaching those Santa Clara County residents who still remain unvaccinated.”

The vaccine’s two doses are administered between three and eight weeks apart. Federal regulators have yet to approve it for use as a booster vaccine.

Commonly reported side effects of the Novavax vaccine are similar to the other three available in the U.S., including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, fever and pain, tenderness, redness and swelling at the injection site.

As of Monday, 86.6 percent of all Santa Clara County residents have completed their initial vaccination series.

COVID-19 vaccines are available countywide for residents aged 6 months and older.