In Brief: Novavax says COVID-19 vaccine has 89.7% efficacy

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Novavax hopes to use this data to apply for regulatory approval worldwide. Photo by: Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine has an overall efficacy of 89.7%, according to final results of its phase 3 efficacy trial in the United Kingdom.

It has a 96.4% efficacy against the original strain of the COVID-19 virus, but 86.3% when accounting for the B.1.1.7/501Y.V1 variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the vaccine has shown 48.6% efficacy in South Africa, where the B1.351 variant is dominant. Efficacy is higher at 55.4% for HIV-negative individuals.

The results offer slight differences in efficacy compared to the interim results the company announced in January. Both trials showed the vaccine has 100% efficacy against severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: Novavax hopes to use this evidence to apply for regulatory approval worldwide, potentially adding to the portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines in emergency use today. Novavax has a memorandum of understanding with Gavi to provide 1.1 billion doses of its vaccine to COVAX, the global vaccine procurement initiative, with the vaccine to be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

What is the caveat: The data has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal for independent scrutiny of scientists. In addition, the vaccine’s phase 3 trial in the U.S. and Mexico is still ongoing.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.