Watch: Novavax says vaccine is effective against COVID-19
A Covid vaccine that is a critical part of the effort to vaccinate the developing world, as well as the UK, has an efficacy of 90% overall, its manufacturers have said after trials in the US and Mexico.
The UK has ordered 60m doses of Novavax, which has manufacturing agreements in Britain. Novavax has signed an agreement to provide 1.1bn doses to Covax, the UN-led initiative to get vaccines to poorer countries. The Serum Institute of India is contracted to make 100m doses, but has been making vaccines only for India in recent months in response to the Covid crisis there.
Announcing the US trial results, Novavax said it would file for regulatory approval in the third quarter of the year. UK trials showed 89.3% efficacy in March, but in May the company said there were delays caused by manufacturing issues that would prevent any earlier application.
In the trial in 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the US and Mexico, the vaccine was 100% effective against moderate to severe disease. It was 93% effective against variants that were circulating at the time of the trial – the alpha, beta and gamma variants that originated in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. The delta variant that originated in India was not in circulation, however. It had 91% efficacy in high-risk populations.
“Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional Covid-19 vaccines. These clinical results reinforce that NVX-CoV2373 is extremely effective and offers complete protection against both moderate and severe Covid-19 infection,” said Stanley C Erck, he company’s president and chief executive officer.
“Novavax continues to work with a sense of urgency to complete our regulatory submissions and deliver this vaccine, built on a well understood and proven platform, to a world that is still in great need of vaccines.”
The company said it remained on track to reach manufacturing capacity of 100m doses a month by the end of the third quarter and 150m doses a month by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.
Production of the UK’s 60m doses will take place in the north-east courtesy of Fujifilm, which has manufacturing capacity in Stockton-on-Tees. The “fill and finish” stage will take place in Barnard Castle at the plant of the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
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