Novavax COVID-19 vaccine effective but less effective against South African variant: Coronavirus updates: NPR

Sister Vash Deelchand vaccinated Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Government’s Vaccine Task Force, with a Novavax vaccine at the Royal Free Hospital in London in October.

Kirsty O’Connor – PA Pictures / PA Pictures via Getty Images


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Kirsty O’Connor – PA Pictures / PA Pictures via Getty Images

Sister Vash Deelchand vaccinated Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Government’s Vaccine Task Force, with a Novavax vaccine at the Royal Free Hospital in London in October.

Kirsty O’Connor – PA Pictures / PA Pictures via Getty Images

According to an interim analysis of a large study in the UK, the COVID-19 vaccine is 89% effective in preventing the disease, according to Novavax

The results come from a clinical study involving more than 15,000 volunteers, more than a quarter of whom were over 65 years of age.

The company says 62 cases of COVID-19 were seen in the study. Fifty-six occurred in the group that received placebo; Six were seen in people who received the vaccine.

The Novavax vaccine is called a Protein subunit vaccine, another type of vaccine technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna recordings being launched in this country. The Novavax vaccine is given in two doses 21 days apart.

Novavax says in a Press release that his vaccine against the new variant of the coronavirus circulating in the UK is a little less effective – around 86%. Against the original COVID-19 strain, the vaccine is 96% effective, according to the company.

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In a separate, smaller study in South Africa, the vaccine was still somewhat effective in preventing COVID disease – 49% overall – a far lower level than in the larger UK study. However, there is a wide range of uncertainties about how much less the potency is.

A preliminary analyst suggested that the variant strain first identified in South Africa appeared to be responsible for the majority of the COVID cases observed in the study.

After a vaccination or previous infection, the immune system can make antibodies that recognize the coronavirus and then neutralize or destroy it. However, as the virus mutates, it can change the appearance of these antibodies and make it more difficult for them to attach to them.

A combination of mutations in the variant, which was first observed in South Africa, changed the surface of the virus to which antibodies want to bind.

The Novavax study in South Africa found that previous infection with the original form of the virus that causes COVID-19 may not fully protect people from later infection with the mutated version.

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