Here’s what you need to know about the Novavax vaccine
1. The vaccine was one of six candidates backed by a US government project formerly known as Operation Warp Speed, which has provided the company $1.75 billion. It’s also being tested in a trial in the US and Mexico, which has recruited 16,000 of 30,000 participants.
2. The Novavax shot injects the same molecules directly into the body to evoke an immune response. The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines deliver the genetic instructions to make a protein of the virus to human cells.
3. The trial in the UK involved 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, including 27% who were over the age of 65. The first interim analysis was based on 62 cases, of which 56 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus six cases among people who received NVX-CoV2373.null
4. NVX-CoV2373 contains a full-length, prefusion spike protein made using Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle technology and the company’s proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant. The purified protein is encoded by the genetic sequence of the Sars-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and is produced in insect cells.
5. It can neither cause Covid-19 nor can it replicate, is stable at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.
6. The company’s preliminary analysis indicated the variant first identified in Britain, B.1.1.7, was detected in more than 50% of the confirmed cases.
7. Efficacy by strain was calculated at 95.6% against the original Covid strain, and 85.6% against B.1.1.7. But the efficacy was much lower in a smaller, mid-stage trial conducted in South Africa.