EU approves fifth COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine, manufactured by Novavax, was shown to have a 90% efficacy rate following two clinical trials

The EU’s drug regulator has given the green-light for a fifth COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed across the bloc.

The European Medicines Agency granted conditional marketing authorisation for a two-dose vaccine produced by Novavax.

It will be made available for people aged 18 and over, but the decision must first be approved by the EU’s executive commission.

The EU has already approved four other vaccines for bloc-wide distribution. These include vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Astrazeneca.

In preparation, the EU has ordered up to 100 million doses of the Novavax jab, with leeway to buy 100 million more units.

The Novavax vaccine is a protein-based jab. After its evaluation, EMA’s human medicines committee concluded that the data on the vaccine were robust and met with EU criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

The first clinical trial, carried out in Mexico and the US, found a 90.4% reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases from seven days after the second Novavax dose was received.

In a second trial, carried out in the UK, the vaccine had 89.7% efficacy.

The European Commission will now grant a decision on the conditional marketing authorisation fort he Novavax jab.

Conditional marketing authorisation is used as the fast-track authorisation procedure to speed up the approval of treatments and vaccines during public health emergencies in the EU.