Coronavirus World

European regulators approve Novavax Covid-19 vaccine

PHOTO: Flickr/Jernej Furman

European regulators have approved the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine after months of delays. The protein-based vaccine takes a similar approach to that of vaccines long deployed against meningitis, hepatitis, and other illnesses. It provides European countries with another weapon in the fight against Covid-19, but according to a Bloomberg report, its efficacy against the newly-emerged Omicron variant is not yet known. Last month, Indonesia became the first country in the world to approve Novavax for emergency use.

Last week, the World Health Organisation granted Novavax emergency use authorisation, after months of manufacturing problems that saw it fall behind Pfizer and Moderna, a development that hit its stock hard. According to Bloomberg, 2 main clinical trials involving 45,000 participants have returned promising results. The first trial, carried out in Mexico and the US, showed a drop of 90.4% in the number of symptomatic Covid infections from 7 days after a second dose, when compared with volunteers who received a placebo. A second study in the UK returned similar results, with efficacy of 89.7%.

The vaccine works by mimicking Covid-19’s spike protein, prompting an immune response to prepare the body for the real thing. Novavax also has the benefit of being able to be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, meaning it’s easier to transport than mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna. The vaccine has also shown strong potential for mix-and-match booster campaigns. In August, the manufacturers confirmed a supply agreement with the European Commission for up to 200 million doses.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.