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image captionBiotech firm Novavax has labs in the US (pictured) and has carried out trials in the UK and South Africa

A new coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be 89.3% effective in large-scale UK trials.

The Novavax jab is the first to show in trials that it is effective against the new virus variant found in the UK, the BBC’s medical editor Fergus Walsh said.

The PM welcomed the “good news” and said the UK’s medicines regulator would now assess the vaccine.

The UK has secured 60 million doses of the jab, which will be made in Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England.

The doses are expected to be delivered in the second half of this year, if approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government said.

The UK has so far approved three coronavirus vaccines for emergency use – one from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, another by Pfizer and BioNTech, and a third from drug firm Moderna.

The Novavax jab, which is given in two doses, was shown to be 89.3% effective at preventing Covid-19 in participants in its Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK, and around 86% effective at protecting against the new UK variant.

The Phase 3 trials – the final stage before a vaccine is looked at by a regulator – enrolled more than 15,000 people aged between 18-84, of whom 27% were older than 65, US firm Novavax said.

In the South African part of the trial, where most of the cases were the South African variant of the virus, the vaccine was 60% effective among those without HIV.

Stan Erck, chief executive of Novavax, said the results from the UK trial were “spectacular” and “as good as we could have hoped”, while the efficacy in South Africa was “above people’s expectations”.

He told the BBC the manufacturing plant in Stockton-on-Tees should be up and running by March or April, with the company hoping to get approval for the vaccine from the MHRA around the same time.

Minister Lucy Frazer told BBC Breakfast the government could not put an exact timeframe on when the Novavax jab might be approved as the regulation process is “out of our control”.

But the prisons minister added the NHS would be “ready to distribute [the jab] into people’s arms” as soon as supplies become available.

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Covid vaccine: Single dose Covid vaccine 66% effective

Published

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Janssen is 66% effective, the Belgian company has announced.

An international trial looked at giving just one dose of the vaccine, which makes it significantly easier to roll out than those requiring two.

The UK has already pre-ordered 30m doses.

The news comes shortly after Novavax announced their jab was 89% effective. Both will need to be reviewed by regulators before they can be used.

Janssen, a pharmaceutical company owned by Johnson & Johnson, is also investigating whether giving two doses will give either stronger or longer-lasting protection.

The company said its initial findings showed one dose prevented 85% of severe cases.

However part of the trial in South Africa, where a new version of the coronavirus is spreading. found it was just 57% effective.

Dr Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said that would “potentially protect hundreds of millions of people from serious and fatal outcomes of Covid-19”.

The company is aiming to make one billion doses this year.

The Janssen vaccine uses a common cold virus that has been engineered to make it harmless.

It then safely carries part of the coronavirus’s genetic code into the body. This is enough for the body to recognise the threat and then learn to fight coronavirus.

This trains the body’s immune system to fight coronavirus when it encounters the virus for real.

This is similar to the approach used by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.