The information: US firm Novavax has at the moment announced that its covid-19 vaccine was discovered to be 89% efficient in final-stage scientific trials within the UK. It found the vaccine protects individuals with the UK covid-19 variant, often called B.1.1.7, however is much less efficient towards the variant sequenced in South Africa, often called B.1.351.
The small print: The Section 3 trials enrolled greater than 15,000 individuals aged between 18 and 84. The Novavax vaccine, which requires two doses, was 86% efficient towards the UK variant, however within the South African wing of the trial, the place most individuals had the South African covid-19 variant, the vaccine was simply 50% efficient (much like the extent of safety conferred by most flu vaccines.) The UK has purchased 60 million doses of the vaccine which might be produced domestically. Novavax is a small US firm that obtained $1.6 billion from the US authorities as a part of “Operation Warp Pace.”
The (regarding) greater image: Novavax is just not the one vaccine maker to find its covid-19 shot is much less efficient towards the South African variant. Moderna and Pfizer lately reported that their vaccines do not work as properly towards this variant both, though producers are confident that they’d be capable of quickly produce up to date variations to fight the altering virus. The US reported its first recognized circumstances of the South African variant yesterday in two individuals in South Carolina. These individuals had not had contact with each other, which suggests B.1.351 might already be spreading all through the group in components of the US.
Nonetheless ready: Another vaccine trial ought to quickly give us extra information on whether or not vaccines can deal with the South African variant. Johnson and Johnson performed a big trial for its single-shot vaccine that recruited hundreds of South Africans between September and December, simply as the harmful variant unfold broadly. Scientists will wish to see if the shot is much less efficient in South Africa than it has been within the US, the place a part of the trial occurred. That trial information is because of be launched any day now.