Novavax has sought regulatory approval for its coronavirus vaccination in Britain.

The US-based company submitted its final trial results to drug safety watchdogs. This could mean that another jab is added to the UK’s arsenal.

60million jabs have already been purchased by No10. It is not yet clear how the jab would be used if it is approved.  

Novavax is expecting a positive decision by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, (MHRA).  

If granted the green light, its vaccine, officially known by NVXCoV2373, will be the first protein-based jab to be approved in the UK. 

Novavax's vaccine, officially known as NVX-CoV2373, would be the first protein-based jab approved in the UK, if given the green light

Novavax’s vaccine, formally known as NVXCoV237373, would be the first approved protein-based jab in the UK if it was given the green light

The Government has ordered 60million doses of Novavax, which the MHRA is currently reviewing. Pfizer is the most-ordered jab in the UK, with 135million due to arrive in Britain by next year. Some 100million doses of AstraZeneca have been ordered, along with 60million doses of the jab made by GSK. Meanwhile, the Government has requested 50million CureVac vaccines, 20million Janssen and 17million Moderna injections. But only four jabs have been approved in the UK: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen

The 60 million Novavax doses ordered by the Government are currently being reviewed by the MHRA. Pfizer is the UK’s most popular jab. 135 million are expected to arrive in Britain by next Year. AstraZeneca has been ordered in 100 million doses, with 60 million doses from GSK. The Government has also requested 50million CureVac vaccines and 20million Janssen injections. Only four jabs were approved in the UK: Janssen, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca

Other injections approved include viral vector vaccines containing a common cold virus (AstraZeneca, Janssen) and an mRNA vaccine containing enzymes (Pfizer & Moderna).


How does the vaccine work?

Novavax vaccine works similarly to other vaccines in that it teaches the immune system to produce antibodies to coronavirus spike proteins.

Researchers created a modified virus called a Baculovirus and allowed it to infect insects cells.

The spike proteins from these cells were then made into nanoparticles, which, although they look like coronaviruses, can’t replicate or cause Covid-19. These nanoparticles are then inhaled into the body via a vaccine, where an antibody response is initiated.

Coronavirus is a virus that can cause serious illness. The body is trained to protect itself against it. The vaccine is administered in two doses.

Are there any benefits to the Novavax vaccine

Yes. The Novavax jab can be stored up to three months in a normal refrigerator, unlike the Moderna jabs that need to be kept at extremely low temperatures.

How effective is the vaccine?

The results of phase III trials show that the jab provides 100 percent protection against severe diseases, including all types of hospital admissions and death.

It is 86 per cent effective against the Alpha (Kent variant) and 100 per cent effective in preventing cases from the original coronavirus strain. 

Is Novavax approved?

But not yet. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is reviewing data on the jab.

After Novavax has applied for an Emergency Use Authorization, regulators at the Food and Drug Administration will review the data.

Novavax contains proteins that are similar to the coronavirus spikes, which causes Novavax to produce antibodies to fight the infection. It is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. 

Protein vaccines already in use include the hepatitis B and meningitis jabs. 

Trials revealed that the vaccine was effective in stopping severe and moderate disease.

The UK has ordered over 400 million doses of eight different vaccines. However, only four have been approved so far by the MHRA: Janssen, Moderna, Pfizer and Moderna.

The agency makes the final decision on whether to approve a vaccine based upon safety, quality, and effectiveness data.

Novavax, Maryland-based, submitted data from the Phase Three Clinical Trial. This trial tested the jab in more than 15,000 people in Britain.

It was revealed the jab had an efficacy rate of 96.4 against mild, moderate and severe disease caused by the original coronavirus strain.

It also provided 86.3 per cent protection against the Alpha strain.

A trial of the vaccine in the US and Mexico on 30,000 people found that it provided 100 percent protection against moderate and severe diseases. 

The injection was safe, produced a robust antibody response and caused only mild side effects in clinical trials. 

Stanley Erck is the company’s president, chief executive officer, and said that Novavax is now closer than ever to delivering millions of doses. The submission was based on a well-understood vaccine system that has shown high efficacy against multiple strains.

“We look forward the MHRA’s review, and will be ready to deliver vaccine dosages following what will be a positive outcome.”

“We thank all the UK Vaccines Taskforce as well as clinical trial participants and sites in the UK for their support and vital contributions to this program.”

Due to commercial confidentiality, MHRA could not give any details about its review. 

Novavax stated that it will submit its jab to regulators in Europe and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, and New Zealand “shortly” as well as to the US by year’s end. 

An announcement was made earlier this month that the 15,000 Novavax trial participants in the UK would have to receive two doses of another vaccine for travel abroad.

Because Novavax is not recognized as a valid Covid vaccine in other countries, thousands of volunteers have been unable or unwilling to travel.