| 14.9°C Belfast

Novavax coronavirus vaccine – all you need to know

According to results of a phase three trial in the UK, the jab offers 100% protection against severe disease.

Close

Boris Johnson visiting the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the protein antigen component of the Novavax vaccine will be made (Scott Heppell/PA)

Boris Johnson visiting the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the protein antigen component of the Novavax vaccine will be made (Scott Heppell/PA)

Boris Johnson visiting the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the protein antigen component of the Novavax vaccine will be made (Scott Heppell/PA)

The Government has agreed a deal with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the manufacture of up to 60 million doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine.

Here is what we know:

Close

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

– How does the vaccine work?

The Novavax vaccine works like other vaccines by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the coronavirus spike protein.

Researchers inserted a modified gene into a virus, called a baculovirus, and allowed it to infect insect cells.

Spike proteins from these cells were then assembled into nanoparticles which, while they look like coronavirus, cannot replicate or cause Covid-19.

These nanoparticles are then injected into the body via the vaccine where the immune system mounts an antibody response.

If the body encounters coronavirus in the future, the body is primed to fend it off.

The vaccine is given as two doses.

Close

The protein antigen component of the vaccine will be produced at the Fujifilm Diosynth facility in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees (Danny Lawson/PA)

The protein antigen component of the vaccine will be produced at the Fujifilm Diosynth facility in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees (Danny Lawson/PA)

PA

The protein antigen component of the vaccine will be produced at the Fujifilm Diosynth facility in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees (Danny Lawson/PA)

– Are there advantages of the Novavax vaccine?

Yes. While the jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures, the Novavax jab is stable for up to three months in a normal fridge.

– How effective is the vaccine?

According to results of a phase three trial in the UK, announced in March, the jab offers 100% protection against severe disease, including all hospital admission and death.

It is 86% effective against the Kent variant, the company behind it said, and it is also 96% effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain of the coronavirus.

The study in the UK enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged between 18 and 84, including 27% over the age of 65.

In participants 65 years of age and older, 10 cases of Covid-19 were observed, with 90% of those cases occurring in the placebo group.

Close

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

– Where is it made?

The protein antigen component of the vaccine is produced in the North East of England by Novavax manufacturing partner, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, at its site in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.

GSK announced on Monday that it will provide “fill and finish” manufacturing capacity – preparing vials of the final vaccine and packaging them for distribution and use – at its Barnard Castle facility, also in the North East, beginning as early as May.

It said the “rapid technology transfer” between the two companies will begin immediately.

– Has the Novavax vaccine been approved?

Not yet. A rolling review is under way by the (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) MHRA to assess the vaccine.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy