The forgotten Covid jab that might have NO side effects on kids

The forgotten Covid jab that might have NO side effects on kids
The forgotten Covid jab that might have NO side effects on kids

The Novavax Covid vaccine, which may be just days away from approval in the UK, could be safer for children than the UK's current jabs, experts say. 

It is hoped that the US shot — which uses tried and true vaccine technology and is manufactured in Teeside — could reduce hesitancy and boost uptake in children. 

The UK Government already has 60million doses of Novavax on order and trials show it is 96 per cent effective in adults.

But crucially it was shown to cause less side effects compared to those triggered by Pfizer, Moderna or even AstraZeneca's vaccines. 

The vaccine, known scientifically as NVX-CoV2373, would be the first protein-based jab approved in the UK, if given the green light.

Protein-based jabs are already given to children to protect against the flu, meningitis and hepatitis. 

Experts told MailOnline approval of the vaccine could pave the way for the jab being rolled out to children, as well as encouraging the vaccine-hesitant to come forward.  

Final study data was submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last month and approval is expected in days.   

Novavax's injection, officially known as NVX-CoV2373, would be the first protein-based jab approved in the UK, if given the green light. Protein-based jabs are already given to children to protect against the flu, meningitis and hepatitis

Novavax's injection, officially known as NVX-CoV2373, would be the first protein-based jab approved in the UK, if given the green light. Protein-based jabs are already given to children to protect against the flu, meningitis and hepatitis

Other injections against Covid already approved in the UK are either viral vector vaccines that are made from a common cold virus (AstraZeneca), or an mRNA vaccine made from enzymes (Pfizer and Moderna).

Novavax's contains proteins that mimic the spikes on the coronavirus, causing the body to produce antibodies to fight the infection.

If the body encounters coronavirus in the future, the body is primed to fend it off.

The injection is administered in two doses 21 days apart. Unlike the other jabs that need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, Novavax can be kept in a normal fridge for up to three months. 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NOVAVAX COVID VACCINE THAT PREVENTED MORE THAN 90% OF PEOPLE FALLING ILL

How does the vaccine work?

The Novavax vaccine works like other vaccines by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the coronavirus spike protein.

Researchers inserted a modified gene into a virus, called a baculovirus, and allowed it to infect insect cells.

Spike proteins from these cells were then assembled into nanoparticles which, while they look like coronavirus, cannot replicate or cause Covid-19. These nanoparticles are then injected into the body via the vaccine where the immune system mounts an antibody response.

If the body encounters coronavirus in the future, the body is primed to fend it off. The vaccine is given as two doses.

Are there advantages of the Novavax vaccine?

Yes. While the jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures, the Novavax jab is stable for up to three months in a normal fridge.

How effective is the vaccine?

According to results of phase III trials, the jab offers 100 percent protection against severe disease, including all hospital admission and death.

It is 86 percent effective against the Alpha (Kent) variant and 100 percent effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain of the coronavirus. 

Has the Novavax vaccine been approved?

Not yet. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is reviewing data on the jab.

In the US, the data will be examined by regulators at the Food and Drug Administration after Novavax applies for Emergency Use Authorization.

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And phase three by Maryland-based Novavax of more than 15,000 people in the UK found the jab had an efficacy rate of 96.4 against mild, moderate and severe disease caused by the original coronavirus strain. 

Meanwhile, a trial of the vaccine on 30,000 people in the US and Mexico found it gave 100 per cent protection against moderate and severe disease.  

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