Covid-19: Novavax begins testing its Covid vaccine in adolescents

The American company Novavax announced on Monday that it has begun trials of the Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents. Children and adolescents are the next target for vaccination campaigns.

American biotech company Novavax announced on Monday that it has begun clinical trials in the United States on adolescents of its Covid-19 vaccine.

Novavax will test the “safety and efficacy” of its Covid vaccine on approximately 3,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 “at more than 75 US centers,” the company said.

Vaccine pending approval

Two-thirds of the participants will receive the vaccine and one-third will receive a placebo in two doses 21 days apart. Second, after six months, those who took the placebo will receive the vaccine, and vice versa, so that all participants will eventually receive the medicine. They will be monitored for two years after the injections.

The introduction of this vaccine has not yet been approved in any country, including for adults. Novavax announced that it wants to apply for an emergency permit in the United Kingdom “in the second quarter of 2021” and also shortly thereafter in the United States.

The company said in March that its vaccine is 89.7% effective against symptomatic disease, according to clinical trials in the UK on more than 15,000 people aged 18 and over.

Other companies are following in the footsteps of Novawax

Another phase 3 clinical trial in adults is underway in the United States and Mexico.

The Novawax vaccine uses a different technology from that used for vaccines that are already widely licensed around the world. This is a so-called “subunit” vaccine based on proteins that induce an immune response, without viruses. It can be stored at 2 to 8 ° C.

Other companies are also conducting clinical trials of their Covid vaccine in adolescents, including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and the Pfizer / BioNtech alliance. The latter, for its part, has already requested permission for a vaccine for children 12-15 years old in the United States and Europe. The European Medicines Agency announced on Monday that it has begun evaluating its use in this age group.

Vaccinating children and adolescents is the next step in vaccination campaigns. Although they are less susceptible to severe cases of the disease, they can nevertheless contribute to the spread of the disease, and, according to experts, vaccination is necessary to end the epidemic.

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