Hospital involved in successful Covid vaccine trial

League of Friends shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn reopens

Covid rules will remain in place beyond July 19 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has played an "instrumental role" in the study of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine.

The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine has been reported to have an efficacy of 89.7pc against covid.

Researchers at the QEH in King's Lynn have been involved the delivery of the trial as part of a study conducted across 33 sites in the UK, including Norfolk. 

Locally, it was conducted at the Clinical Research Facility at the Quadram Institute Bioscience in the Norwich Research Park, run by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where 500 of the 15,000 participants nationally were enrolled in the trial.

The hospital said a final analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) shows two doses of the Novavax vaccine administered 21 days apart was found to be safe and 89.7pc effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection and showed high efficacy against the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant.

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The study also showed that initial vaccine side effects were "mostly mild and temporary."

Antonia Hardcastle, head of education, learning and research at QEH, was instrumental in supporting the set-up of the study and Dr Christopher Jeanes, consultant microbiologist and infection control doctor at QEH, was co-principle investigator and co-author of the NEJM paper.  

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Dr Jeanes said: “On behalf of myself and my co-PI professor Jeremy Turner, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, we have been extremely proud to lead the delivery of this trial locally.

"The vaccine research programme has been an immense combined effort on behalf of the participants and it has been a large team and a system-wide effort across Norfolk and Waveney including the acute hospitals, primary care, community care and the National Institute for Health Research.

“QEH has been really instrumental in delivery of the study, reflecting a really big achievement for a trust, which continually delivers high quality research at a level above and beyond its size”.

The UK is said to have ordered 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine pending its approval.

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