Vaccine side effects: High fever, chills and dizziness reported in new Novavax trials

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A deal announced on Monday with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will manufacture up to 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine. The vaccine is already being produced at a Fujifilm facility in Stockton-on-Tees, though the UK regulator has yet to approve the jab. What are the side effects of the Novavax vaccine?

The Novavax vaccine works like other vaccines by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the coronavirus spike protein.

While the jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures, the benefit of the Novavax jab is that it can be stable for up to three months in a normal fridge.

The Novavax coronavirus vaccine is nearly 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

It was less effective at preventing infections caused by the B.1.351 variant dominating in South Africa.

President and Chief Executive Officer for Novavax said: “With today’s results from our UK Phase three and South Africa Phase 2b clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials involving over 20,000 participants.

“In addition, our PREVENT-19 US and Mexico clinical trial has randomised over 16,000 participants toward our enrolment goal of 30,000. NVX-CoV2373 is the first vaccine to demonstrate not only high clinical efficacy against COVID-19 but also significant clinical efficacy against both the rapidly emerging UK and South Africa variants.”

He continued: “NVX-CoV2373 has the potential to play an important role in solving this global public health crisis.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, collaborators, investigators and regulators around the world to make the vaccine available as quickly as possible.”

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Initial side effects from the Novovax vaccine include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Dizziness

“This is the first COVID-19 vaccine for which we now have objective evidence that it protects against the variant dominating in South Africa,” Professor Shabir Maddi, the principal investigator in the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa, stated in the press release.

Efficacy dropped to 60 percent when tested primarily against the B.1.351 variant in South Africa.

The findings are promising and show the vaccine produces a robust immune response capable of identifying and targeting new variants.

The Novavax coronavirus vaccine is nearly 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

Though the vaccine worked against all variants, it was less effective at preventing infections caused by the B.1.351 variant dominating in South Africa. Still, the vaccine, which produces a robust immune response, was effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19.

Novavax is already working on a new vaccine that will target the new variant and expects to start testing it in a few months.

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