Novavax Vaccine Update!



➡️ TL;DR: 2-dose Novavax shows EXCELLENT protection, including against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant.

➡️ The vaccine is cheaper to produce than mRNA vaccines, stored at fridge temperature, and will be a great boon to global supplies.

It’s been a while since we heard from Novavax, a “protein sub-unit” vaccine candidate from a small U.S. company that released promising results from a smaller trial in the UK and South Africa in January.

In a new press release of Phase 3 clinical trial results from 29,960 participants in the U.S. and Mexico the Novavax vaccine showed:

💥 90.4% efficacy against any confirmed disease
💥100% efficacy against moderate or severe disease
💥 All hospitalized cases (14) were in the placebo group
💥 Efficacy remained high for the Alpha variant and in high risk/over 65s

🙋 What’s efficacy again? It means that there were 90.4% fewer infections in the vaccine compared to the placebo group. Roughly: for every 10 infections in the placebo group, there was only 1 in the vaccine group.

Note: In this trial there were twice as many participants given the vaccine as the placebo, so the efficacy calculation takes that into account.

These efficacy rates rival those of the mRNA vaccines, which were largely tested before new variants were circulating.

🦋 Compared to the mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccines, Novavax does not coax your body into making the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it delivers it already pre-made (by moth cells!) and combined with a plant-based adjuvant that boosts your immune response. The protein sub-unit approach is an existing technology that is also used for the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Sadly the vaccine will not be available immediately, as the company is working on manufacturing details that must also be submitted before applying for regulatory approval in several countries in the 3rd quarter of 2021. The company estimates it can produce 100 million doses a month by the end of September and 150 million a month by the end of the year.


Another safe and highly effective vaccine should be available soon, boosting global supplies and preventing more unnecessary COVID-19 infections and deaths.


Those Nerdy Girls

Further Reading:

Novavax Offers U.S. a Fourth Strong Covid-19 Vaccine

Novavax Covid-19 vaccine highly effective in late-stage trial, long-awaited results show

Novavax Press Release

Novavax Summary Document

What types of vaccines are there?

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