A new coronavirus vaccine has been found to be 89.3 percent effective during trials that took place in the UK.
The Novavax vaccine is the first to be shown to be effective against the new variant of the virus which first emerged in the UK, at around 86 percent.
The vaccine, administered via two doses, will be manufactured in the north east of England, providing some assurance against worries that supplies of vaccines from the EU could be disrupted.
The UK has already ordered 60 million doses of the vaccine. If approved for use by independent regulators, it will be the fourth vaccine available in the UK, alongside the Pfzier/BioNtech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines.
The Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK involved more than 15,000 participants aged between 18-84, with 27 percent over the age of 65. In a separate trial in South Africa, where a separate variant is circulating, the vaccine was shown to be 60 percent effective among people without HIV.
“With today’s results from our UK Phase 3 and South Africa Phase 2b clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials involving over 20,000 participants,” Stanley C. Erch, president and CEO of Novavax said.
He said the Novavax vaccine was the first to “demonstrate not only high clinical efficacy against COVID-19 but also significant clinical efficacy against both the rapidly emerging UK and South Africa variants. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, collaborators, investigators and regulators around the world to make the vaccine available as quickly as possible.”
Vaccine rollout has been taking place across the UK since early December, with some concerns of a postcode lottery and surplus doses going to the less vulnerable. The UK has now provided almost 7.9 million doses of the vaccine.