Results from the University of the Witwatersrand Novavax coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial show 51% efficacy against the B.1.351 variant in a South African study with HIV negative participants.
A group in the trial, which included people who are HIV positive, showed 43% efficacy.
Novavax is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease.
Professor of Vaccinology, co-author of the study, and the director of the Wits Vaccines & Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit Shabir Madhi led the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine trial in South Africa.
Publication of initial primary analysis showed cross-protection by the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine against the B.1.351 variant, making it the first published study to show protection against mild Covid-19 caused by the B.1.351 variant.
An updated analysis of the study indicated 100% protection against severe Covid-19 due to the B.1.351 variant.
“An efficacy of 50% is sufficient to meet the World Health Organization criteria for regulatory approval of the vaccine,” Madhi said.
The New England Journal of Medicine also published findings of the Phase 2b clinical trial conducted in South Africa on Wednesday.
Founder of Intercell USA, Inc. and president of research and development at Novavax Gregory M. Glenn says this data publication reinforces the encouraging safety profile and cross-protective effect across variants seen in studies of the vaccine to-date.