March 13, 2021 4:59:04 am
Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate has shown an efficacy of 96.4 per cent against mild to severe disease caused by the original strain of the virus, the American vaccine maker said. The protein-based candidate has also managed an efficacy of around 83.4 per cent two weeks after the first dose is given — a potentially promising finding at a time when vaccine makers are still in the process of scaling up supplies for the world.
The efficacy of a vaccine is a marker of how many symptomatic cases it can reduce in the population vaccinated compared with if they were not vaccinated.
The latest findings, presented in a release by the company, suggest that a single jab of Novavax’s candidate, NVX-CoV2373, has a higher efficacy than Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine candidate. In findings released late in January, J&J had said that its single dose vaccine demonstrated a 66 per cent efficacy across all its trials.
While NVX-CoV2373 was around 86.3 per cent efficacious against specific variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus circulating in the UK. However, its efficacy was only 55.4 per cent among HIV-negative participants in its trial in South Africa. Serum Institute of India has received permission to test Novavax’s candidate in mid- to late-stage human trials in India. The Pune-headquartered vaccine maker, which has also been manufacturing the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, plans to supply NVX-CoV2373 under “Covovax”.
So far, Covishield and Covaxin have received permission for restricted use in India. Over the last few months, cases caused by variant strains from the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been detected in India. While several candidates globally have shown promise against the UK strains, they have not been as efficacious against the strains in South Africa.
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