The new Novavax vaccine has been shown to be 89.3% effective in large-scale UK trials.
The jab is also the first vaccine shown to be effective against the new variant of COVID-19. So far, The UK has secured 60 million doses of the jab, which will be made in Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England. The doses are expected to be delivered in the second half of this year, if approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government said.
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‘These are enormously exciting findings and show that this is a highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine – importantly it also shows that this is a vaccine that is effective against the UK variant that has spread so quickly,’ said Professor Paul Heath, Chief Investigator of the UK Novavax Vaccine Trial and Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St George’s, University of London.
‘This wonderful news is a tribute to the over 15,000 volunteers in our trial, to the dedication of the UK investigators and to the huge support of the NIHR.’
The Phase 3 trials more than 15,000 people aged between 18-84, of whom 27% were older than 65. In the South African part of the trial, where most of the cases were the South African variant of the virus, the vaccine was 60% effective among those without HIV.
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‘With all the news about who is getting how much of three approved vaccines, the press release suggesting the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is effective remains extremely good news,’ said Dr Al Edwards, Associate Professor in Biomedical Technology, University of Reading.
‘While we still await full trial results for detailed scrutiny in a peer-reviewed publication, the headline that “a subunit vaccine works” is in fact highly significant. Why? Because it’s made by a different process, and it triggers an immune response in a distinct way to the other vaccines, yet it still provides protection.’