Novavax Covid vaccine is 86% effective against more contagious variant

EU hoping to buy up to 200m Novavax vaccines

The study in the UK enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged between 18 and 84, including 27 per cent over the age of 65. Photograph: AFP via Getty

The study in the UK enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged between 18 and 84, including 27 per cent over the age of 65. Photograph: AFP via Getty

 

A coronavirus vaccine the EU is hoping to buy is 86 per cent effective against the so-called Kent variant, the company behind the jab has announced.

The Novavax vaccine is also 96 per cent effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain of coronavirus.

According to results of phase three trial in the UK, the jab offers 100 per cent protection against severe disease, including all hospital admission and death.

The European Medicines Agency began a rolling review of the vaccine last month, with the EU hoping to purchase up to 200 million doses.

Stanley Erck, president and chief executive officer at Novavax, said: “We are very encouraged by the data showing that NVX-CoV2373 not only provided complete protection against the most severe forms of disease, but also dramatically reduced mild and moderate disease across both trials.

“Importantly, both studies confirmed efficacy against the variant strains.”

The study in the UK enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged between 18 and 84, including 27 per cent over the age of 65.

In participants 65 years of age and older, 10 cases of Covid-19 were observed, with 90 per cent of those cases occurring in the placebo group.

Regulatory approval

Novavax expects to use the data to submit for regulatory approval across the world.

The UK is providing infrastructure to Novavax in running a phase three clinical trial in the UK, and plans to manufacture its vaccine in the UK with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

In a smaller trial conducted in South Africa – where a more contagious variant is widely circulating, the Novavax vaccine was 55 per cent effective, based on people without HIV, but still fully prevented severe illness. – PA