Novavax vaccine more than 90% effective in US trial

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Novavax Inc on Monday reported late-stage data from its US-based clinical trial showing its vaccine is more than 90% effective against COVID-19 across a variety of variants of the virus.

The company said, the study of nearly 30,000 volunteers in the United States and Mexico puts Novavax on track to file for emergency authorisation in the United States and elsewhere in the third quarter of 2021.

“Novavax protein-based COVID-19  vaccine candidate was more than 93% effective against the predominant variants that have been of concern among scientists and public health officials.

“Protein-based vaccines are a conventional approach that use purified pieces of the virus to spur an immune response and vaccines again whooping cough and shingles employ this approach,” Novavax said.

During the trial, the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom became the most common variant in the United States.

According to Novavax’s head of research and development, Gregory Glenn, Novavax also detected variants of COVID-19 first found in Brazil, South Africa and India among its trial participants.

The vaccine was 91% effective among volunteers at high risk of severe infection and 100% effective in preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.

It was roughly 70% effective against COVID-19 variants that Novavax was unable to identify.

“Practically speaking, it’s very important that the vaccine can protect against a virus that is wildly swinging around in terms of new variants,”  Dr Glenn said.

Novavax said the vaccine was generally well tolerated among participants. Side effects included headache, fatigue and muscle pain and were generally mild. A small number of participants experienced side effects described as severe.

Novavax remains on track to produce 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter of 2021 and 150 million doses per month in the fourth quarter of 2021, the company said.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: South Korea approves Moderna vaccine

 

Kamila/Reuters

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