Feb 4, 2022: A Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Novax, has been approved by the UK regulator for use in people over the age of 18.
The vaccine will not be widely available immediately since to become part of UK’s vaccination program it will be considered by the Independent Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee. Clinical trials show that two doses of Novavax jab are about 90% effective against symptomatic covid-19, as is the case with other approved vaccines in the UK.
A recent study by Novavax shows that its protection is much better than that of other vaccines against Omicron, increasing the likelihood that it may be able to provide broader protection in a variety of variants in the future.
June Raine, the chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said: “Our approval of Nuvaxovid today follows a rigorous review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of this vaccine, and expert advice from the government’s independent scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines.”
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said: “It is great to see our world-renowned medicines regulator approve another Covid-19 vaccine. I want the UK to be the best place in the world to conduct clinical trials. It’s a testament to the country’s first-rate research and development capabilities for vaccines – with tens of thousands of people taking part in clinical trials here in the UK, contributing to the invaluable research that shows our vaccines are safe and effective.”
The decision is expected to address travel issues for Britons who took part in trials of the novavax vaccine, initially disqualified from traveling to certain countries because the vaccine was not approved by the UK regulator. The government announced in October that thousands of UK trial participants would be offered the Pfizer / BioNTech jab. The latest decision should address the situation of those who did not accept the offer.
Novavax is a protein-based vaccine that uses more advanced technology than some others, such as the routine childhood vaccine against the flu and whooping cough infection. There is initial evidence that side effects may be reduced, with test data showing lower rates of fatigue, headaches and muscle aches.
UK public health experts hope that these factors could convince those who have not yet been vaccinated, those who are skeptical about the new technology, or those who are worried about the harmful effects of other vaccines.
According to health experts, the vaccine is distinct from other Covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the UK as it uses recombinant protein-based technology which has been used for many years in the development of vaccines to prevent other illnesses, for example hepatitis B.
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