Covid-19 vaccines: What has the UK ordered?

Results from a trial of the Novavax jab suggest it offers 89% protection against Covid-19.

Covid-19 vaccines: What has the UK ordered?

The UK’s supply of coronavirus vaccine could be further boosted should the new Novavax jab receive approval from the medicines regulator.

The vaccine, which has shown promising results in trials, will be manufactured in Stockton-on-Tees but is yet to be given the go-ahead by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is manufactured in Europe.

So what has the UK secured access to?

– What types of vaccine have been ordered?

– Adenoviral vaccines: These are based on weakened versions of adenoviruses, which are a group of viruses that typically infect membranes of the eyes, respiratory tract, urinary tract, intestines and nervous system, and include the common cold.

– mRNA vaccines: Traditional vaccines are made up of small or inactivated doses of the whole disease-causing organism, or the proteins that it produces, which are introduced into the body to provoke the immune system into mounting a response. But mRNA vaccines trick the body into producing some of the viral proteins itself.

How the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine works
(PA Graphics)

– Protein adjuvant vaccines: An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, and has been shown to create a stronger and longer lasting immunity against infections than the vaccine alone.

The use of an adjuvant may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced.

The UK has placed orders for vaccines from:

– BioNTech and Pfizer 

Type: mRNA
Doses: 40 million – enough for 20 million people

The vaccine is being rolled out across the UK, having been approved for use on December 2 last year.

– Oxford and AstraZeneca 

Type: Adenovirus
Doses: 100 million – enough for 50 million people

How the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine works
(PA Graphics)

– Moderna

Type: mRNA
Doses: 17 million – enough for 8.5 million people

The jab from the US biotech firm has been approved for use in the UK, but doses will not be available until the spring.

– Novavax 

Type: Protein adjuvant.
Doses: Under the in-principle agreement, the UK has secured 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine

The UK is providing infrastructure to Novavax in running a phase three clinical trial in the UK, and plans to manufacture its vaccine in the UK with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Results from those trials show the vaccine offers 89% protection against Covid-19, but it still requires approval from the MHRA, which could take several weeks.

– Janssen

Type: Adenovirus
Doses: Some 30 million doses have been secured from Janssen, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson

Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK
(PA Graphics)

– Valneva 

Type: Inactivated whole virus
Doses: There is an in-principle agreement for 60 million doses. If the vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable, the UK has secured an option to acquire a further 40 million doses

Valneva’s site in Livingston, West Lothian, will manufacture the vaccine. Clinical trials are ongoing.

– GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur

Type: Protein adjuvant
Doses: 60 million

Clinical trials for the vaccine are ongoing. Interim results of early phases of the trial showed an immune response comparable to patients who recovered from Covid-19 in adults aged 18 to 49 years, but a low immune response in older adults.

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