The UK vaccines taskforce has bought 60m doses of the Novavax vaccine, it has been found to be 89.3% effective and 85.6% effective against the UK strain, however, the US firm reported it may only be 50% effective against the South African variant.
The Novavax worked against the disease variant first identified in Kent, which has proved to be up to 70% more infectious, the Department of Health said.
The jab still needs approval from the UK regulator before it can be distributed in Britain.
But if the injection is approved by the vaccines watchdog – the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – 60 million doses will be delivered to the UK in the second half of this year.
It will be manufactured on Teesside in the UK.
Novavax is one of seven vaccines the UK have now secured. It will be manufactured on Teesside in the UK. If it is given emergency authorisation by the UK regulator, this could boost the country’s immunisation programme and solve the potential problems over the supply of the other two vaccines in use.
trial involved 15,000 people age 18 to 84, including 27 percent who were over the age of 65.
The first interim analysis was based on 62 cases, of which 56 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus six cases among people who received NVX-CoV2373.
The company’s preliminary analysis indicated the variant first identified in Britain, B.1.1.7, was detected in more than 50 percent of the confirmed cases.
Efficacy by strain was calculated at 95.6 percent against the original Covid strain, and 85.6 percent against B.1.1.7.
“These are spectacular results, and we are very pleased to have helped Novavax with the development of this vaccine,” said Clive Dix, chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, according to a statement.
This study enrolled just over 4,400 patients from September to mid-January, during which time the B.1.351 variant, which contains critical mutations along the virus’ spike protein, was spreading rapidly through the country.
Overall efficacy was 49.4 percent in this trial, but the figure rose to 60 percent among the 94 percent of trial participants who were HIV-negative.
Novavax said it began working on new vaccines against emerging strains in early January and expects to select ideal candidates in the coming days, then begin clinical testing in the second quarter of the year.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use mRNA technology, the Novavax shot injects pieces of the coronavirus into humans in order to evoke an immune response.
Hailing the breakthrough, Boris Johnson tweeted: “Good news that the Novavax vaccine has proved effective in UK trials.
“Thank you to all the volunteers who made these results possible.
“Our medicines regulator will now assess the vaccine, which will be made in Teesside.
“If approved, we have 60m doses on order.”
The US firm tonight said a British trial showed its coronavirus vaccine was 89.3% effective in preventing Covid-19.
NHS staff from across Durham and the Tees Valley are part of a joined team running the Novavax trial at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Research lead Kerry Colling said: “I am delighted with how the trial is developing so far. Research staff from three health trusts in the region have come together and are working seamlessly.