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Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trialled in Dorset found to be 89.3% effective

A COVID-19 vaccine trialled in Dorset is 89.3% effective at preventing COVID-19, shown from interim analysis of its Phase 3 study data.

The NIHR-supported Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which was trialled at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Dorset, was also shown to be effective against the new variants of concern.

The Novavax study is the largest ever double blind, placebo-controlled trial to be undertaken in the UK. It recruited over 15,000 participants from 35 UK research sites in just over two months, with almost 600 participants from Dorset taking part in the trial.

It was the first phase 3 study for the US-based biotechnology firm Novavax’s vaccine anywhere in the world.

The interim efficacy data and safety data will be submitted to all regulators across the world - including the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK - for independent scrutiny and product approval.

A significant proportion of participants taking part in the study were recruited through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry - an online registry of over 390,000 people who have signed-up to be contacted about taking part in COVID-19 vaccine studies.

More than 25 percent of those enrolled in the trial were over the age of 65, while a large proportion of volunteers had underlying medical conditions generally representative of the population.

The UK phase 3 trial is a randomised, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded trial during which 50% of volunteers were given two intramuscular injections of the vaccine candidate, 21 days apart, while the remaining received a placebo.

The UK Vaccines Taskforce and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network have played vital roles in the rapid recruitment of volunteers.

Dr Patrick Moore, a Dorset GP and the local NIHR investigator of the study, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the results of the Phase 3 trial, which show that this is a highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine – importantly, it also shows that this vaccine is effective against the UK variant that has spread so quickly.

“Almost 600 Dorset residents took part in this trial, and I’d like to thank them all for their contribution to this important research.

“Our county is playing a key part in the global search for COVID-19 vaccines, with the people of Dorset coming together with the NHS to find a way out of this pandemic.”

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi, said:

“Having taken part in Novavax’s vaccine trial myself, I am particularly thrilled to see such positive results. I want to thank the thousands of trial volunteers, without whom these results would not have been possible.”

Clive Dix, Chair, UK Vaccine Taskforce, said:

“These are spectacular results, and we are very pleased to have helped Novavax with the development of this vaccine. The efficacy shown against the emerging variants is also extremely encouraging. This is an incredible achievement that will ensure we can protect individuals in the UK and the rest of the world from this virus.”

The UK public can continue to support the national effort to speed up vaccine research and receive more information about volunteering for future vaccine studies by visiting

The UK government has already secured 60 million doses of the Novavax NVX-CoV2373 vaccine. Provided it meets standards on safety, effectiveness and quality following publication of results, the vaccine will be manufactured using FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’s facilities in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.