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Novavax Covid jab trialled at King’s approved by UK drugs

16 February 2022 - On 3 February, the UK drugs regulator MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approved a fifth Covid-19 vaccine, developed by US company Novavax.

The decision follows a UK-wide clinical trial which was supported by researchers at King’s College Hospital and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The MHRA has concluded that Nuvaxovid, the Novavax vaccine, is safe as a first and second dose in adults, offering up to 89% protection against Covid illness.

At King’s College Hospital, Consultant Rheumatologist Dr James Galloway led a team of researchers to recruit over 200 volunteers from across London to receive the vaccine at the NIHR King’s Wellcome Clinical Research Facility.

The next step is for independent scientists on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to consider its use. The Novavax vaccine could then be used immediately as part of the UK vaccination programme.

Dr James Galloway, Consultant Rheumatologist at King’s College Hospital, says: “It’s been a privilege for myself and the team at King’s to involve members of our local community and beyond in this innovative study.

“From the trial’s inception right through to the MHRA approval– we’ve enjoyed contributing to a national effort to protect and improve people’s lives.

“Although we have a number of effective vaccines licensed for use in the UK, it’s important that we continue to develop and test new therapeutics – particularly as we continue to live with Covid-19.”

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said: “It is important news that the independent regulator has now authorised the Novavax vaccine for use in the UK.

“Many members of the public stepped forward to participate and this should be recognised and celebrated. We thank each and every one of them for their commitment to the Novavax study. Equally, this success was down to the dedication and hard work of researchers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

The Novavax vaccine has also been authorised by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation, granting participants in the study with a full vaccination status.