New Covid-19 vaccine 'Novavax' approved with help from North West volunteers

A new Covid-19 vaccine called Novavax has now been approved in the UK.

More than 1,655 volunteers took part in Greater Manchester, which was the UK's highest recruiting region to the trial.

The volunteers participated in the trial at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. 

The Novavax study found the COVID-19 vaccine was 89.7% effective at preventing coronavirus, prior to the Omicron variant emerging.

The study, led by researchers at St George's, University of London, is the largest ever double blind, placebo-controlled vaccine trial to be undertaken in the UK.

Nurses were at the forefront of the Covid pandemic response. Credit: PA

Researchers recruited 15,203 participants from 33 research UK sites in just eight weeks, between September 2020 and November 2020.

Novavax has become the fifth vaccine to be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

It follows the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen vaccines - but is the first protein-based vaccine approved in the UK.

The Novavax vaccine has also been authorised by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation, meaning participants in the study will have their vaccination status recognised outside of the UK.

Novavax follows the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen vaccines. Credit: PA

Professor Andy Ustianowski, Deputy Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester, and Clinical Lead for the NIHR's COVID Vaccine Research Programme, said: "We are extremely grateful to the participants in Greater Manchester and across the country who volunteered in such strong numbers to be part of this vital trial and waited patiently for the regulator's announcement."

Dr David Baxter, Principal Investigator for the trial at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The Stockport vaccine team is delighted to learn that the vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. We are indebted to the hundreds of participants who were involved in the trial at our trust. It's thanks to their willingness to be part of this research that we now have another safe and effective vaccine to protect people against COVID-19 in the UK and globally.