Health officials in the United States have only approved three COVID vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Experts said allowing a fourth vaccine could play an important role in stopping the COVID pandemic.
Novavax announced that its COVID vaccine is highly effective against symptomatic infection, including against the variants. The company said the phase 3 trial involved nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and in Mexico.
There were 63 cases of COVID in the placebo group and only 14 in the vaccinated group. That means the two-dose vaccine was 90.4% effective.
Novavax said all cases of moderate or severe disease were in the placebo group and the cases in the vaccinated group were mild. Novavax said the vaccine was 93% effective against the variants, including the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) which was the predominant variant seen in the U.S. trial.
The company said the vaccine was well-tolerated and it plans to file for authorization with the FDA in the third quarter. If authorized, it will be the nation’s fourth coronavirus vaccine.
“The U.S. is going to need booster shots later this year and I think our vaccine will be very useful for that,” Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said.
Novavax vials can be stored in a regular refrigerator, making them more accessible to low-income countries.