Media Release

QEH plays instrumental role in study of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) played an instrumental role in the study of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (NVX-CoV2373) which has efficacy of 89.7% against SARS-CoV-2.

A final analysis of a Phase III trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)shows a two-dose regimen of the Novavax vaccine administered 21 days apart was found to be safe and 89.7% effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection and showed high efficacy against the B.1.1.7 (or alpha) variant. The study also demonstrated that initial vaccine side effects were mostly mild and temporary.

Antonia Hardcastle, Head of Education, Learning and Research at QEH, was instrumental in supporting the set-up of the study and Dr Christopher Jeanes, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor at QEH, was co-Principle Investigator and co-author on the NEJM paper.  The study was conducted at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital-run Clinical Research Facility at the Quadram Institute Bioscience in the Norwich Research Park where 500 of the 15,000 participants were enrolled in the trial.

The study was conducted at 33 sites across the UK, including Norfolk, with 27% of the 15,000 participants being aged 65 and over, and 44% having coexisting illnesses.

Dr Christopher Jeanes, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor at QEH, said: “On behalf of myself and my co-PI Professor Jeremy Turner, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, we have been extremely proud to lead the delivery of this trial locally. The vaccine research programme has been an immense combined effort on behalf of the participants and it has been a large team and a system-wide effort across Norfolk and Waveney including the acute hospitals, primary care, community care and the National Institute for Health Research”.

Dr Jeanes adds: “QEH has been really instrumental in delivery of the study, reflecting a really big achievement for a Trust, which continually delivers high quality research at a level above and beyond its size”.

The UK has ordered 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine pending its approval.

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