A new COVID-19 jab could soon be on the way after it was shown to be nearly 90% effective in UK large-scale trials.
A total of 60 million doses of the Novavax have been secured as it is announced it is the first jab to be proven to be effective against the new coronavirus strain detected in the UK.
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Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England will be the first area to receive the vaccine which is expected to start later on this year if the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approves it.
At the moment, there are three vaccines that the UK has approved for emergency use. There is the Oxford University and AstraZeneca jab, the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, and the third has been made by the drug company Moderna.
Administered in two doses, the Novavax jab was shown to be 89.3% effective at preventing COVID-19 in participants and 86% effective at protecting against the new UK variant.
The final stage of the trial involved more than 15,000 people who were aged between 18 and 84.
Clive Dix, Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, said: “These are spectacular results, and we are very pleased to have helped Novavax with the development of this vaccine. The efficacy shown against the emerging variants is also extremely encouraging. This is an incredible achievement that will ensure we can protect individuals in the UK and the rest of the world from this virus.”
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Stan Erck, chief executive of Novavax, said the results from the UK trial were “spectacular” and “as good as we could have hoped”.
If approved, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new vaccine would be “another weapon in our arsenal to beat this awful virus”.