The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today, Thursday, February 3, authorised Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the UK.
More than 500 volunteers from the North East took part in the study at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the vaccine was submitted for approval in October.
The study, which involved recruiting 15,203 participants from 33 sites in just eight weeks, found the vaccine was 89.7% effective at preventing COVID-19, prior to the Omicron variant emerging.Novavax has become the fifth COVID-19 vaccine to be authorised by the MHRA. It follows the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen vaccines - but is the first protein-based vaccine approved in the UK.
Professor Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria and Co-Principal Investigator of the Novavax study at Hartlepool, said: “I am extremely proud that the region played its part in testing the Novavax vaccine. Huge thanks to all the participants for their time and effort contributing to this important research - it would not have happened without you.
“I would also like to give my heartfelt thanks to the research team at Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance for their hard work and fantastic team effort in delivering this study in our region.”Welcoming news that the vaccine had been approved, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: “Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have played a major role in the development of this vaccine; thousands of local people from across the region took part in the jabs stage three clinical trials run from the University Hospital of Hartlepool and all 60million doses of the vaccine will be manufactured by FUJIFILM Diosynth at their world-class manufacturing facility in Billingham.
“It has taken a bit longer to get to this point than we would have liked, but we now have another weapon in our armoury in the fight against the coronavirus.”
“As a region we have an enviable reputation the world over as a centre of excellence when it comes to engineering, chemicals and processing, but now our hugely impressive bioscience sector is getting the praise it rightly deserves.”