The news: The American company Novavax has today ad that its covid-19 vaccine was shown to be 89% effective in end-stage clinical trials in the UK. He found that the vaccine protects people with the British covid-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7, but is less effective against the variant sequenced in South Africa, known as B .1.351.
The details: Phase 3 trials recruited more than 15,000 people aged 18 to 84. The Novavax vaccine, which requires two doses, was 86% effective against the British variant, but in the South African wing of the trial, where most people had the South African vaccine. covid-19, the vaccine was only 50% effective (similar to the level of protection afforded by most influenza vaccines). The UK has purchased 60 million doses of the vaccine which will be produced locally. Novavax is a small American company that received 1.6 billion dollars from the US government as part of “Operation Warp Speed”.
The overview (regarding): Novavax is not the only vaccine manufacturer to discover that its injection of covid-19 is less effective against the South African variant. Modern and Pfizer recently reported that their vaccines do not work as well against this variant, although the manufacturers are confident that they could produce quickly updated versions to fight against the evolution of the virus. United States reported his first known cases of the South African variant yesterday in two people in South Carolina. These people had not had contact with each other, suggesting that B.1.351 may already be spreading throughout the community in parts of the United States.
Still waiting: Another vaccine trial should soon give us more data on the ability of vaccines to control the South African variant. Johnson and Johnson conducted a large trial for its single-shot vaccine that recruited thousands of South Africans between September and December, as the dangerous variant spread widely. Scientists will want to see if the shot is less effective in South Africa than in the United States, where part of the test took place. This test data is expected to be published overnight.