Northern Ireland news

Novavax Covid-19 vaccine trialled in Northern Ireland approved for use

The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine which was trialled in Northern Ireland has been approved for use.
Marie Louise McConville

The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine which was trialled in Northern Ireland has been approved for use.

Nuvaxovid, which has been developed by Novavax, has been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It becomes the fifth Covid-19 vaccine authorised by the UK's independent medicines regulator.

In reaching its decision, the MHRA considered the results of two large clinical trials involving almost 50,000 participants.

Almost 500 participants from across Northern Ireland volunteered to take part in the clinical trial which was led by researchers Professor Danny McAuley, Professor Judy Bradley and Dr Johnny Stewart from Queen's University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director of HSC R&D Division Public Health Agency (PHA), said: "This is another positive step forward in the battle against Covid-19.

"Belfast Trust was one of a group of hospitals across the UK to deliver the Novavax trial, in which almost 500 participants from Northern Ireland volunteered to take part," she said.

"As funder of the Northern Ireland clinical R&D infrastructure, we are extremely grateful to each and every one of the participants, and also to the research team who worked so hard to deliver the study.

"There is no doubt that research has made a huge contribution to the development of tests, treatments and vaccines to protect the health of the population during this most difficult of times.

"Looking ahead, it is important that investment in research is maintained for the future so that evidence will be generated to guide the post-pandemic recovery process".

John Conlon, who took part in the Novavax trial, said: "It's easy to see how the world changed for most of us in the UK after March 2020.

"We all wanted things to get back to ‘normal', and when the adverts for the trial came up, I thought it was something I could do to help out," he said.

"The staff were excellent in the NI Clinical Trial Unit, helpful at explaining the trial and what was involved. It's great to see the vaccine has been approved for use and hopefully we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel that has been the past two years".

Gordon Kennedy, who was also a trial participant said: "As a first time trialist, I am delighted to learn that the Novavax vaccine has now been fully approved for use in the UK.

"Hopefully, this will enable many more vaccinations to take place on a worldwide basis".

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