Highlights –

  • Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine 89% effective on new mutated virus versions.
  • The vaccine’s interim analysis on 62 participants has been done so in Britain.
  • Novavax mentioned that their vaccine is 96% effective against the older COVID-19.
  • The South African study included some volunteers with HIV.

On Thursday, Novavax Inc. reported that based on early findings from a British study its COVID-19 vaccine appears 89% effective and that it also seems to work against new mutated versions of the virus circulating in that country and South Africa.

The study of 15,000 people in Britain is still underway. But an interim analysis found 62 participants so far have been diagnosed with COVID-19 — only six of them in the group that got the vaccine and the rest who received dummy shots.

According to Novavax, it said that they suggest the vaccine is nearly 96% effective against the older coronavirus and nearly 86% effective against the new variant.

However, scientists are rather worried about a variant first discovered in South Africa that carries different mutations. The current South African study included some volunteers with HIV. According to the company, among the HIV-negative volunteers, the vaccine appears 60% effective. Including volunteers with HIV, overall the protection was 49.

Novavax reported that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is made differently than the first shots being used. It is a recombinant protein vaccine, the company uses genetic engineering to grow harmless copies of the coronavirus spike protein in insect cells. Scientists then extract and purify the protein and then mix in an immune-boosting chemical.