Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial

Novavax revealed the results of a phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial that determined that the company’s two-dose inoculation is highly effective.

The trial found the Novavax vaccine to be 90.4 percent effective overall, and 100 percent effective in protecting against moderate and severe disease.

The vaccine was also found to be 91 percent effective among high-risk populations, defined as individuals over the age of 65, or younger if they have certain comorbidities.

The results of the trial with almost 30,000 participants across 119 sites in the U.S. and Mexico aligned with the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which saw 95 percent and 94.1 percent efficacies, respectively, in phase three clinical trials.

What’s next: Novavax, in a news release Monday morning, said it plans to file for regulatory authorizations in the third quarter, once the final phases of testing and process qualifications are met.

Upon approval, the company said it is on track to manufacture 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter, and 150 million per month by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.

“Novavax continues to work with a sense of urgency to complete our regulatory submissions and deliver this vaccine, built on a well understood and proven platform, to a world that is still in great need of vaccines,” Novavax President and CEO Stanley C. Erck said.

Context: The U.S. has plenty of other vaccine options, so the future of Novavax in this country is uncertain, despite the fact that the federal government paid $1.6 billion for 100 million doses under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.

The vaccine may be put to better use overseas, especially if the FDA decides the company needs to apply for full approval or licensure, which could slow the process down even more. But even though the company likely missed its opportunity to contribute to the first wave of vaccinations in the U.S., the nation will probably need booster shots at some point in the next year.