The American firm Novavax has announced its COVID-19 vaccine trial is propelling forward. Entering its third stage, what hope does this give to the UK?
This final stage in the trial is key in whether the vaccine gets the green light for mass production.
Recruiting up to 10,000 volunteers, aged between 18 to 84, the study is planned to be up and running in the next six weeks.
At least 25 percent of those taking part in the experiment will be aged over 65.
Half of the volunteers will receive two shots of NVX-CoV2373 with Matrix-M –Novavax’s adjuvant – programmed to strengthen the vaccine, and the other half will be given a placebo.
Up to 400 participants will also receive a seasonal flu vaccine to observe the COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness alongside the jab.
Data from the trial will be paramount in whether license in the UK is warranted.
If the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, it’s reported that there will be 60 million doses of the vaccine manufactured in Britain.
Novavax are hopeful their successful results will enable them to produce up to two billion annual doses by mid 2021.
The President of Research and Development at Novavax, Gregory M Glenn, said his team were “optimistic”.
During its earlier trials, the vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against coronavirus.
The team are hoping to replicate the same success its earlier trials had shown.
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“We are grateful for the support of the UK government, including from its Department of Health and Social Care and National Institute for Health Research, to advance this important research,” said Mr Glenn.
The Novavax candidate is the second vaccine to enter the last stage of clinical trials in the UK.
Another potential vaccine is being tested by Oxford University and British biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
The UK now has access to six different COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development.
Priority vaccines will be given to frontline health workers, those with serious disease, the elderly and ethnic minorities.
Time will tell who will be the first vaccine candidate to be good to go – and there seemingly isn’t too long of a wait.
With the second wave of coronavirus making its appearance across the UK, the sooner an effective and safe vaccine is green-lighted, the better.
The UK has recorded 6,634 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily figure since mass testing began, reported the BBC.
The latest figures skyrocket the number of confirmed cases to 416,363 – a trend that looks to continue.
This notorious virus has taken the lives of 41,902 people in Britain, and it would seem more lives will be lost to coronavirus by winter.
While the healthcare workers are doing everything in their power to keep people alive, rest assured researchers are doing the same.
The UK is so close to a new COVID-19 vaccine, an end to this pandemic is surely within our grasp.