Coronavirus

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine found ‘highly effective’, even against variants

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COVID-19 vaccine, “NVX-CoV2373,” shows high levels of efficacy in the U.S. and Mexico trials, according to Novavax.

The COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax continues to provide promising results in its phase 3 trials. Back in March, the final analysis in the U.K. trial showed an overall efficacy of 89.7 percent.

It was 96.4 percent effective against the original strain of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the vaccine had an efficacy of 86.3 percent against the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).

Three months later, a similar range of efficacy rate was found in the U.S. phase 3 trial. The Maryland-based biotech company announced the latest developments about the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CNN.

90.4 percent overall efficacy across the U.S. and Mexico

Speaking to the publication, President of Research and Development Dr. Gregory Glenn noted that the latest results “appear consistent” with the data from the phase 3 trial in the United Kingdom. It is a “different continent, different population, different viruses floating around,” but the efficacy remains “good.”

As it happens, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine had an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent. The trial covered 113 sites in the United States, and six in Mexico.

The company also announced that the efficacy in the “high-risk” population was about 91 percent. As for its effectiveness against variants of concern or variants of interest, the efficacy rate was 93.2 percent.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine carries the official name, NVX-CoV2373. Reports said that it differs from the three other vaccines, which are already in the U.S. arsenal.

The key difference is that it reportedly relies on “recombinant nanoparticle technology” and the company’s adjuvant, which they refer to as Matrix-M. They are the ones that stimulate the immune response.

Both COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer utilize “genetic material” to stimulate the response. As for the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, it uses a “weakened common cold virus as a vector to carry the genetic instructions.”

Potential “booster vaccine”

In the same statement, the biotech company said that they plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization in the third quarter. The COVID-19 vaccine will then become the fourth one in the U.S.’s line-up, according to NBC News.

However, the current administration has already reportedly secured enough doses to vaccinate the country’s population. Moreover, there is an apparent decrease in the rate of vaccination. So, the need for additional vaccines appears to be unlikely.

Even so, Novavax believes that the NVX-CoV2373 may become useful in the next few months or even years. Chief Executive Officer Stanley Erck also asserted that their COVID-19 vaccine may potentially become a “booster,” particularly in the United States.

Images (1) & (2) courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/YouTube

Mike Pantoja-Contreras

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Mike Pantoja-Contreras

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