Novavax Covid jab approved by UK drugs regulator

The UK has approved a fifth Covid-19 vaccine, developed by US company Novavax, which offers up to 89% protection against Covid illness.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has said it is safe as a first and second dose in adults. Millions of doses are being manufactured at a plant on Teesside.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid says independent scientists on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will now consider its use. The vaccine could then be used immediately as part of the UK vaccination programme.

“It’s a testament to the country’s first-rate research and development capabilities for vaccines,” Mr Javid said, “with tens of thousands of people taking part in clinical trials here in the UK, contributing to the invaluable research that shows our vaccines are safe and effective.”

Novavax said it still sees a role for the jab in reaching the 16% of over-12s in the UK who have not yet had two doses. It plans to apply for extra authorisation for use in children “in the next few weeks”, and to submit data for use as a booster jab, either immediately or as a possible fourth dose this autumn.

The Novavax product – known by the brand name Nuvaxovid – was shown to be 89% effective against catching symptomatic Covid-19 in clinical trials.

The original research was conducted against both the earlier Wuhan and Alpha variants of the virus.


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