Novavax says its COVID-19 vaccine appears 89% effective, based on early findings from a British study.
According to USA Today, the two-dose vaccine was just 60% effective in the South African trial.
The shot also seems to work against new mutated strains of the virus circulating in that country and South Africa, though not quite as well.
Thursday's announcement comes amid worry about whether a variety of vaccines being rolled out around the world will be strong enough to protect against worrisome new variants – and also, the world needs new types of shots to boost scarce supplies.
“These are spectacular results, and we are very pleased to have helped Novavax with the development of this vaccine," said Clive Dix, Chair, U.K. Vaccine Taskforce, in a press release. "The efficacy shown against the emerging variants is also extremely encouraging. This is an incredible achievement that will ensure we can protect individuals in the U.K. and the rest of the world from this virus."
USA Today reported that among the 15,000 participants, 62 people fell ill with COVID-19, 56 of whom received a placebo.
Novavax stated that that vaccine was 95.6% effective against the original COVID virus and 85.6% effective against the U.K. variant.
The preliminary findings may help Novavax win authorization for its vaccine in Britain, but the U.S. government is funding a more extensive study that's still recruiting volunteers.