Novavax Covid vaccine approved for 12 to 17 year olds in Britain

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A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Novavax logo. (REUTERS)
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Novavax logo. (REUTERS)

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax has been approved for children aged 12 to 17 years old in Britain.

The Nuvaxovid was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It follows a review of the “safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group”, MHRA said on Friday, and expert advice from the government’s independent scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines.

The approval is valid in Great Britain only, MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said. The vaccine was authorised for children in Northern Ireland on July 1.

The vaccine was authorised for adult use in February, but as of Friday, Nuvaxovid has not been included in the UK’s vaccination rollout.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) determines which vaccines are used, and which age groups are offered a vaccination.

The drug is the fifth vaccine to be approved for use in the UK.

In UK trials last January, the vaccine was shown to be close to 89.3 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid.

The government has an order for 60 million doses of the drug with production taking place in Stockton-on-Tees.

The NHS has been offering two Pfizer vaccines to children aged between five and 15.

Children can have a first dose of the vaccine from the day they turn 5. Most children can have a second jab from 12 weeks after their first.

The other vaccine approved by the UK are from: Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Janssen.

Covid-19 infections in the UK are continuing to fall and are now at their lowest level for more than two months, the Office for National Statistics said.

A total of 1.4 million people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to August 16.

This is a drop of 16 per cent from 1.7 million in the previous week and is the lowest total since the week to June 11.

Just under 70 per cent of the population aged over 12 have received two doses of a vaccine and a booster or third shot.