Infectious Disease

Novavax vaccine 89% efficient in UK research, much less efficient in South Africa

January 29, 2021

2 min read

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Novavax said its COVID-19 protein-based vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 is nearly 90% effective in a Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK, where most cases were traced back to the emerging variant B.1.1.7.

The results of a Phase 2b study in South Africa showed that they were 60% effective (95% CI, 19.9% ​​-80.1%) in preventing mild, moderate and severe cases in HIV-negative participants in this Land and was 49% effective (95%). CI, 6.1% -72.8%) when both HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants were included.

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Novavax said more than 90% of the cases during the South African study were due to variant B.1.351, which raises concerns about its ability to bypass vaccines and therapies and was only recently reported in the US.

The UK study enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged 18 to 84, of whom 27% were over 65 years of age. A first interim analysis found 62 cases, of which 56 were in the placebo group and six in the vaccine group, with an effectiveness of 89.3% (95% CI, 75.2% -95.4%).

Based on PCR-tested strains from 56 of the 62 cases, the reported efficacy by strain was 95.6% against the original COVID-19 strain and 85.6% against the B.1.1.7 variant.

“These are spectacular results and we are delighted to have helped Novavax develop this vaccine,” said the Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce Clive ten, PhD, said in a statement. “The effectiveness against the emerging variants is also extremely encouraging. This is an incredible feat that will ensure we can keep people in the UK and the rest of the world safe from this virus. “

In the Phase 2b study in South Africa, 29 cases were observed in the placebo group and 15 cases in the vaccine group.

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Paul A. Offit, MD

Paul A. Offit

I think the data in general has been encouraging. I mean it was 90% effective in preventing mild, moderate and major illnesses in the UK. It has been less effective in preventing mild, moderate, to severe diseases in South Africa, where the South African tribe is common.

It would be interesting to know how much it protects against serious diseases. In other words, hospitalization and death in South Africa – – you would like to know that. Unfortunately, the study was relatively small; it only comprised about 4,000 people. But you really want to know.

This is the problem with living in an age of science through press release – you are not really getting to know that data because you are not looking at all of the data, only what the press release tells you.

Paul A. Offit, MD

Infectious Diseases in Children

Director of the Vaccine Education Center

Philadelphia Children’s Hospital

Disclosure: Offit does not report any relevant financial information.

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