A Covid vaccine that will play a key role in inoculating lower-income countries has been found to be highly effective against coronavirus, the company said after a late-stage study in the US and Mexico.
The jab developed by Novavax was about 90 per cent effective overall and preliminary data showed it was safe, the company said in a press release on Monday.
The vaccine manufacturer says it plans to seek authorisation for the jabs in the US, Europe and elsewhere by the end of September and be able to produce up to 100 million doses a month by then.
“Many of our first doses will go to ... low and middle-income countries, and that was the goal to begin with,” Novavax chief executive Stanley Erck said.
Less than 1 per cent of people in the developing world have had one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to Our World In Data.
The study undertaken by the company involved nearly 30,000 people aged 18 and above in the US and Mexico. Two-thirds received two doses of the vaccine, three weeks apart, and the rest got dummy shots.
There were 77 cases of Covid-19: 14 in the group that got the vaccine, with the rest among the group who received a placebo.
None in the vaccine group had moderate or severe disease, compared to 14 in the placebo group.
The vaccine was similarly effective against several variants and in high-risk populations including the elderly and people with other health problems.
Side effects were mostly mild – tenderness and pain at the injection site. There were no reports of unusual blood clots or heart problems, Mr Erck said.
Novavax reported the results in a press release and plans to publish in a medical journal, where it will be vetted by independent experts. The company previously released findings from smaller studies in the UK and South Africa.
Additional reporting by AP