Novavax: New coronavirus vaccine shown to be 89% effective

Last updated at 07:44
NovavaxGetty Images
Good news! Novavax trials have showed it to be more than 89% effective against the coronavirus

The UK's fight against the coronavirus continues, with more than seven million elderly, vulnerable and high risk people receiving their first dose of a vaccine against the virus.

And now, there is more positive news, as another vaccine, called Novavax, has been shown to be more than 89% effective in large scale trials.

It is also the first vaccine to show it is effective against the new variant of Covid-19, which has been found in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the "good news" and said the UK's medicines regulator would now assess the vaccine.

What is the Novavax vaccine?

In order to fight the coronavirus, scientists all over the world have developed a number of vaccines, which are injections that train your body to recognise and combat the disease before you get ill.

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Vaccines: What are they and how can they help fight Covid-19?

So far, the UK has approved and begun using three vaccines - the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Moderna vaccine.

They have all been found to be between 90 and 95% effective and are safe to use.

Novavax is the latest vaccine that has been through extensive trials on more than 15,000 people in the UK, aged between 18-84 years old.

During those trials, it was shown to be 89.3% effective at preventing Covid-19.

It was also shown to be effective against the new, more transmissible strain of the virus, which was first discovered in the South East of England.

The new Novavax vaccine will be made in Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England.

When can people start having this new vaccine?
Boris Johnson visited a biotechnology laboratory in Scotland on Thursday where they are hoping to start manufacturing of a Covid-19 vaccine, if it is approved.Getty Images
Boris Johnson visited a biotechnology laboratory in Scotland on Thursday where they are hoping to start manufacturing a Covid-19 vaccine, if it is found to be effective and approved.

The PM has said it's "good news" and now the UK's medicines regulator, known as the MHRA, who make sure all medicines are safe to use, will assess the vaccine.

This is a thorough process that ensures the vaccine is safe for people to have. When it is approved for use, the UK will add it to the list of jabs offered to the public. This is expected to be in the second half of this year.

At the moment there are no plans for children to be vaccinated as they are at a much lower risk of being badly affected by Covid-19 if they catch it.

The government has already ordered 60 million doses of Novavax, which will vaccinate up to 30 million people. As with the other vaccines, people will need two doses to gain immunity from the virus.

Novavax have said their manufacturing plant in Stockton-on-Tees should be up and running by March or April.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS "stands ready" to roll the jab out if it is approved.

He said: "This is positive news and, if approved by the medicines regulator, the Novavax vaccine will be a significant boost to our vaccination programme and another weapon in our arsenal to beat this awful virus."

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