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Novavax vaccine shows 89% efficacy in UK trials

J&J says its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine is 72% effective in the U.S.

January 29, 2021: A new coronavirus vaccine known as Novavax, which is given in two doses, has shown 89.3% efficacy in large-scale UK trials.

The Novavax jab is the first to be effective in the trials against the new variant in the UK, the BBC’s medical editor Fergus Walsh said.

 Prime Minister said the medicines regulator in the UK would now assess the vaccine.

The UK 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 later this year if approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government said.

The Phase 3 trials are looked at by a regulator, enrolled more than 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, and 27% were older than 65, US firm Novavax said.

Chief executive of Novavax, Stan Erck, said the UK trial results were “spectacular” and “as good as we could have hoped.” At the same time, the efficacy in South Africa was above the people’s expectations.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Novavax vaccine would be “another weapon in our arsenal to beat this awful virus” if approved.

Hancock thanked researches and volunteers for taking part in the trials,  “I’m proud the UK is at the forefront of another medical breakthrough,” he said.

According to the UK Novavax trial’s chief investigator, the clinical trial findings were enormously exciting because of the jab’s efficacy against the new variant of the disease.

Peter Openshaw, professor at Imperial College in London, said the findings that the vaccine gave high levels of protection in the UK part of the trial were “excellent” but that the lower level of protection seen in South Africa was “a concern.”

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