New vaccine almost 90pc effective against Covid, UK trials show
- Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images
A new vaccine has shown almost 90pc efficacy against Covid-19 during large-scale trials.
The Novavax jab, tested extensively in the UK, has demonstrated 89.3pc protection.
The UK has already ordered 60 million doses of the product, although it will require approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency before being rolled out.
Crucially, the vaccine has proved to be effective against the new variant of coronavirus originating in the UK.
According to preliminary analysis, the variant was found in more than half of the Covid cases recorded in the trials, but the new jab was 85.6pc effective against it.
The vaccine was shown to be 95.6% effective against the original strain.
Studies involved more than 15,000 participants - including some in Norwich - who were aged 18 to 84.
Over-65s made up 27pc of those who took part.
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Reacting to the latest step forward in the vaccination effort prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted to say the development was "good news" and thanked the trials' volunteers.
He said the vaccine would be made in Teesside.
Clive Dix, chairman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, said: "These are spectacular results, and we are very pleased to have helped Novavax with the development of this vaccine.
"The efficacy shown against the emerging variants is also extremely encouraging.
"This is an incredible achievement that will ensure we can protect individuals in the UK and the rest of the world from this virus."
However, the Novavax jab was seen to be less effective against the virus strain first identified in South Africa.
A separate, smaller trial in the African nation a showed just 49pc effectiveness, although the results are thought to be less definitive.
Preliminary analysis suggested the South African strain was responsible for almost all the Covid cases seen in that study.