Novavax vaccine

Novavax’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373

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Advanced Clinical Research in Meridian has been selected as one of over 100 sites in the U.S. and Mexico for an upcoming COVID-19 vaccine trial.

As posted to clinicaltrials.gov, Maryland-based vaccine development company Novavax plans to begin trialing experimental vaccines in Meridian in the coming weeks, a Novavax spokesperson confirmed by phone Wednesday. Advanced Clinical Research’s Meridian location is the only Idaho site participating in the trial.

The Novavax vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, consists of an initial dose and a booster, as do the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both of which were approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. Like Moderna’s vaccine, the Novavax vaccine can be kept safely in standard freezers, according to UC Davis Health; Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at extremely low temperatures.

“It’s not clear when the trial will begin,” the Novavax spokesperson said. “It’s close but we aren’t sure how far along (involved parties) are yet.”

While past trials have given placebos to 50% of participants, that rate will be reduced to one third in the upcoming trial to incentivize participation since two other vaccines have already been released in the U.S., the spokesperson said.

Novavax publicly announced it would move to a third, expanded phase of its U.S.-based trials after early data from U.S. and Australian trials earned the company FDA approval for expanded trialling.

As of Nov. 30, 20,000 doses of the company’s vaccine had been administered, according to a press release. By then, late-stage efficacy studies like the one coming to the U.S. had already enrolled 15,000 participants in a similar U.K. study and 4,422 in a trial in South Africa. New Zealand has already purchased 10.7 million doses of the Novavax vaccine candidate, which will begin arriving in mid 2021.

The Pfizer vaccine is already being administered in Idaho, and 28,000 doses of Moderna’s are expected to reach the state this week, the Idaho Press reported. As of Wednesday morning, 6,538 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered statewide, according to Idaho’s coronavirus web page.

Participants in the upcoming Novavax trial must be 18 or older. More on eligibility requirements is available at clinicaltrials.gov.

Blake Jones covers Kuna and Meridian for the Idaho Press. You can reach him at bjones@idahopress.com and follow him on Twitter @jonesblakej.

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