Novavax says its COVID-19 vaccine is 96% effective against original virus strain

Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 96.4 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in its phase 3 U.K. trial, the drugmaker announced March 11.

During the trial, the vaccine was also 86.3 percent effective in protecting against  B.1.1.7, the more contagious coronavirus variant first identified and now prevalent in the U.K. The trial enrolled 15,000 participants between ages 18 and 84, with 27 percent being older than 65.

In a separate, smaller phase 2b trial conducted in South Africa, the vaccine was 55.4 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. The participants in the South Africa trials were primarily exposed to B.1.351, a coronavirus variant that was first identified in South Africa and is more contagious than the one discovered in the U.K.

For both trials, the vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19-related hospitalization and death.

Novavax expects to submit its U.K. trial data when applying for emergency use authorizations from regulatory agencies worldwide.

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