Results from the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trial, which included over 600 participants recruited at the Royal Free Hospital, has shown that the vaccine is 89.3% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants. 

Novavax have published the data from its phase 3 study, which has also shown that the vaccine is effective against the new COVID-19 variant that started spreading across England last November.

Consultant physician Dr Fiona Burns led the research team at the Royal Free Hospital. She said: “We were very excited to play our part in trialling the Novavax vaccine, and to now be seeing these promising results is very rewarding.

“The vaccine still needs to go through a rigorous approval process, but hopefully we will have another licensed vaccine to add to our arsenal later this year.

“I’m very grateful to all the volunteers who put themselves forwards as participants, and to the wonderful team that ran the trial here at the Royal Free Hospital.”

The vaccine will now need to be approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who will assess whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. Should the vaccine be approved, the UK will receive 60 million doses during the second part of the year. 

The trial involved over 15,000 volunteers, including nearly 4,000 people over the age of 65. The vaccine candidate differs from those currently being used in the UK, combining an engineered protein from the virus that causes COVID-19 with a plant-based ingredient to help generate a stronger immune response.

In December, The Royal Free London was chosen as one of 50 vaccination hubs to lead the way in rolling out approved COVID-19 vaccines. We have now vaccinated thousands of frontline care staff as well as priority groups from our local community.  

Pictured: Sarah Edwards, lead nurse at the Ian Charleston Centre and trial participant has her blood taken