Study of a promising COVID vaccine by Novavax is continuing in the U.S. and Mexico.
- And there might soon be another COVID vaccine option. Researchers in Colorado and elsewhere are studying a promising version by Novavax.
- Beginning this week, clinical trial participants are rolling up their sleeves for a third and fourth shot. Kathy Walsh, one of those volunteers, explains why the additional injections.
- Go ahead and relax that arm.
KATHY WALSH: Vaccine or placebo. I'm not sure which is being injected into my arm. It's my third shot in the clinical trial of a Novavax COVID vaccine. Three weeks from now, I'll be back for a fourth.
THOMAS CAMPBELL: Today, Novavax began what we call a blinded [? crossover. ?]
KATHY WALSH: That means the participants who originally got the vaccine will get placebo. And those who got placebo will get vaccine. Dr. Thomas Campbell is lead investigator at UCHealth.
THOMAS CAMPBELL: Everybody who is still in the study will know that they have been vaccinated, but they won't know when they got the vaccine.
KATHY WALSH: Results from a UK study showed the Novavax vaccine was 96% effective against the original virus, 86% against the UK variant. 30,000 people enrolled in the US-Mexico clinical trial. 90 of 285 volunteers at the UCHealth site opted to be unblinded when they could get a vaccine already on the market. The rest of us stayed blinded.
THOMAS CAMPBELL: That will provide an additional opportunity to assess the safety, and importantly, the durability of the vaccine.
KATHY WALSH: Campbell believes Novavax could release data and apply to the FDA for emergency use in late May. The Novavax approach is a tried and true method made like the HPV and Hep B vaccines, and it doesn't need to be deep frozen.
THOMAS CAMPBELL: We just need as many safe and effective vaccines as we can get.
KATHY WALSH: I'm Kathy Walsh, covering Colorado first.