Our little company from Maryland pulling through! A company that almost lost it all, but making a comeback during the pandemic. This will likely be their first vaccine to make it.

Novavax is a very different “type” of vaccine than Pfizer and Moderna. It uses a coronavirus protein, soapbark tree, and moth cells. Check out my previous post here to orient yourself:

In September, Novavax started Phase III trials in Britain among 15,000 people. Interim results were just released yesterday. What did they find?

  • 89.3% efficacy! 56 cases of COVID-19 in the placebo group vs. 6 cases in the vaccine group

  • Participants were 18-84 years old. Over 27% are over the age of 65, with a lot of participants also having underlying medical conditions.

  • Of the 62 cases, 61 were mild or moderate, and 1 was severe (which was in the placebo group).

  • Efficacy was 95% on the old variant and 85% on B.1.1.7

  • Severe, serious, and medically attended adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between vaccine and placebo groups.

My humble opinion: I cannot overstate how ecstatic we are with the efficacy of these vaccines. We were hoping for something over 50%, and we are outperforming. This will, no doubt, help us fight the pandemic. Also, this is super exciting because it’s a different biotechnology. This will help with raw supply issues (eventually). Finally, who doesn’t love a story about an underdog pulling through.

Also my humble opinion: US trials started in Dec, so we won’t see interim results until April. It’s time for the FDA to seriously consider clinical trial data outside of the US for emergency use authorization. This is a global pandemic. It’s time we start fighting it like one.

Love, YLE

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