Novavax, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based pharmaceutical company, reported Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was highly effective against COVID-19 infections after testing in about 30,000 people.
The trial included about 500 people followed by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the results from the United States and Mexico follow similar positive safety and efficacy results in Europe.
The company said it would seek emergency authorization to use the vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as early as next month.
So, what’s different about this vaccine and who might benefit? We asked some university experts who worked on developing and testing it.
How effective is the vaccine?
Really effective, said Matthew Frieman, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland’s medical school whose research supports the vaccine.
The Phase 3 trial results showed it was 90.4% effective overall, 93% effective against predominately circulating variants and 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and deaths.
It also was 91% effective in high-risk populations such as those with other health conditions and those more likely to be exposed to an infection through work or social situations.
The university specifically included such people in the study, said Dr. Karen Kotloff, a principal investigator of the Maryland site at the university’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health.
What about side effects?