Powerful New COVID Vaccine
Powerful New COVID Vaccine

GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND — A powerful new COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax uses a different approach from previous vaccines and has been found to work well in more than 90 percent of tested individuals.

These results are paving the way for it to be available later this year in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The Novavax vaccine uses purified pieces of the coronavirus to spur an immune response in the body.

Here are the details: Reuters reports that Novavax Inc said on Monday June 14 that its new COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective against a variety of coronavirus variants.

The company says its vaccine is most effective against the original coronavirus strain, as well as the Alpha strain that was first detected in the UK.

The vaccine is a more conventional type of mixture than those currently available.

Novavax does not use mRNA, unlike mRNA vaccines like that of Pfizer and Moderna, which contain a piece of genetic code, called RNA, that prompts the body to create an immune response against the virus.

Novavax differs from this in that it uses the traditional approach of injecting purified pieces of the virus to spur an immune response more directly.

It contains an actual version of the virus' spike protein that has been treated so it cannot cause disease, but can still trigger the immune system.

The body can then make antibodies against the spike proteins that cover the coronavirus and which enable the virus to penetrate human cell membranes.

The Novavax vaccine showed successful results after its Phase 3 clinical trial, which tested more than 30,000 volunteers in the U.S. and Mexico.

This puts Novavax on track to have its two-dose vaccine approved in the U.S. and elsewhere in the third quarter of 2021.