Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine is 89 per cent effective and works against the new variants of the virus, according to data published from clinical trials in the UK and South Africa.
The US biotech said its trial in partnership with the UK government’s vaccine task force showed 95.6 per cent efficacy against the original strain and 85.6 per cent against B.1.1.7, which was circulating widely in the country during the study.
In a separate phase 2b study in South Africa, Novavax found that the vaccine was 60 per cent effective in participants without HIV, with none of the Covid-19 cases in the vaccinated group being serious. The vaccine did not work as well in HIV-positive participants, however, dragging the overall efficacy in South Africa down to 49 per cent.
Stanley Erck, Novavax chief executive, said it was the “first vaccine 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”.
Novavax — which has received up to $1.6bn from Operation Warp Speed, the US government programme designed to expedite vaccines for Covid-19 — started its US trial at the end of December.