Novavax, US vaccine manufacturer has said that its Covid-19 vaccine had shown an overall efficiency of 90.4 percent in recent trials in the US and Mexico, most probably in the line to add another vaccine to fight against the deadly coronavirus in the world, the disease which has killed close to four million people worldwide. Trials have been done in the UK and South Africa.
The Maryland based company tested its two dose NVX-CoV2373 vaccine on a population of just 30,000 adults in the US and Mexico has said that the shots provided 100 percent protection against moderate to severe disease and an overall efficacy of 90.4v percent. Out of the 30,000 individuals who received the vaccine, 77 of them had contracted Covid-19 already and 14 received the actual vaccine, doses of which were spaced three weeks apart, while 63 had received placebos.
Ten moderate to severe cases of the disease that were observed were confined to the placebo group. The 14 infections in the vaccinated group were mild. According to preliminary studies, the vaccine is safe, as revealed by Novavax in a press release.
According to data released by the company during a conference call, Novavax had detected strains of the virus found first in countries like the UK, US, Brazil, South Africa and India. The vaccine showed results like being 91 percent efficient in high-risk populations – above 65 years of age or under 65 years with comorbidities or frequent Covid-19 exposure.
The company has issued that it plans to sign up for authorization in July-September months and is prepared to manufacture 100 million doses per month by the end of September and 150 million doses per month by the end of 2021.
As the US already has more doses than it will probably be needing to vaccinate its entire population, Novavax vaccine may be used in developing countries first. The vaccine can be stores at 2 degreesCelsius to 8 degreesCelsius, making it easier to use in developing countries where maintaining cold chains can be a challenge.
On coming to how the vaccine works, it elicits an immune response to a perfusion spike protein built from Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle technology and an adjuvant, a substance that increases immune response.
In India, the vaccine is supposed to be produced in partnership with the Serum institute of India (SII), under the name Covavax.
Earlier in May, vaccines alliance Gavi had announced that it had signed an agreement to buy 350 million doses of the Novavax vaccine with estimated delivery time to begin in the third quarter of the year.
Covax, the global initiative to provide vaccines to countries is facing acute shortage of vaccines after its biggest supplier in India suspended exports until the end of the year, Novavax has been working on developing vaccines for more than three decades but hasn’t brought any to the market. Therefore, this will be a first.