Novavax Says Its COVID Vaccine Is Extremely Effective
The first results from a large efficacy study of a new kind of COVID-19 vaccine are now out, and they are good. Very good.
According to Novavax, the vaccine’s manufacturer, it had a 100% efficacy against the original strain of the coronavirus and 93% efficacy against more worrisome variants that have subsequently appeared.
In addition to efficacy, the PREVENT-19 (the PRE-fusion protein subunit Vaccine Efficacy Novavax Trial COVID-19) trial showed the Novavax vaccine was safe for users. Like other COVID-19 vaccines, it caused headaches, chills and muscle aches after injection, but few of these side effects were considered serious or severe.
The study involved 29,960 volunteers in the United States and Mexico. In the study, two-thirds of the volunteers received two shots of the vaccine and one-third received two shots of a placebo.
A total of 77 cases of COVID-19 occurred during the study: 63 in the placebo group and 14 in the vaccine group. According to the Novavax statement describing the results, none of the cases of COVID-19 in the vaccine group were related to the original strain of the virus, hence the 100% efficacy against the original strain.
The breakthrough cases were all caused by the newer, more worrisome variants, and all of the breakthroughs in the vaccine group were mild. By contrast, 10 in the placebo group were considered moderate and four severe. Novavax’s statement did not specify which variants in particular were prevented.