Professor Paul Heath, chief investigator of the Novavax jab trial in the UK, said if approved by regulators it would help keep “momentum” in the rollout of leading vaccines in the UK. country.
“The regulator will do a very detailed and thorough review and decide in due course,” he said. “I hope it would be in the spring, maybe the end of April.”
Professor Heath, a pediatric infectious disease consultant at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, says the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, which uses a fast-track “continuous review” process, now has nearly all of the data required for approval decision.
It will be manufactured at the Fujifilm factory in Billingham in the North East.
“The Barnard Castle site is very motivated to do this,” Roger Connor, head of GSK’s vaccine division, told Sky News. “We’ve already started… so we all want to start manufacturing and producing the Novavax vaccine from May of this year.”
Meanwhile, another leading scientist has warned Britain needs to ‘speed up’ to the next generation of vaccines due to the rate at which Covid-19 is evolving into more dangerous mutations.
“We can see that the virus is really settling into a new genomic sequence,” said Professor Peter Openshaw of Imperial College, a member of the Nervtag New Threats Advisory Group. “It finds its way into the new human host, and it evolves.”
- Cabinet Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has rejected calls to speed up the easing of the lockdown, warning that “rushing” to do so could lead to another spike in cases. He told LBC Radio: ‘If we were to rush in and reopen and for some reason there was an increase in the coronavirus, we would be blamed for rushing to reopen, so what we are trying to do now is that’ is to have steady and sure progress. upon reopening. “
- Boris Johnson tweeted a call for world leaders to sign a global deal on ways to protect states from future pandemics. “No government can face the threat of a pandemic alone – we must unite,” he said. The Prime Minister co-signed an article with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Sir Lenny Henry and actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton were among the high profile figures begging black Britons to get vaccinated, following official data which showed people of African and Caribbean descent were much less likely to be vaccinated. accept the rescue blow.
- As cases multiply in Europe, Italian authorities have reported a five-day quarantine for travelers from all countries in the European Union. Sweden’s health agency said it had asked its government to postpone a planned easing of restrictions. French doctors said hospitals were overwhelmed with cases.
Professor Heath also said that once the nine priority groups received a second dose, he believed Britain should look to ‘share’ some of its vaccine stocks.
“As soon as we have made the priority groups, I think we are able to start sharing with other countries, which of course means that the priority groups should be fully protected, which would be two doses of vaccine”, he told me.
“Once that is done, then I think we are in a great position and of course we can then continue to roll out the vaccine to a larger part of the population… but then we are also able to distribute the vaccine elsewhere. for other countries, to other populations. ”
The nine priority groups include people aged 50 and over, residents and staff of nursing homes, front-line health and social workers, clinically extremely vulnerable and those aged 16 and over with underlying health problems that put them at a higher risk of serious illness and mortality. Mr Kwarteng said the government’s priority was to vaccinate the British population.
Professor Heath also urged people in London and other parts of the country to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and the community at large. Speaking on Sky News, he explained that some Covid vaccines may be “better suited” for certain age groups or to be used as boosters.
“We can show, for example, that some vaccines are more appropriate for certain groups, for the elderly, for those with underlying health problems, etc.” he said.
“We are considering, for example, vaccinating adolescents and children, we are considering and actually vaccinating pregnant women and studies may show that some vaccines may be better suited to different groups.
Asked on Sky News about the reluctance of the black community, he said, “I think maybe there is some degree of misinformation, people are sharing things on social media. I think there is sometimes mistrust. At the start of the vaccination process there was much more skepticism within some communities here in the UK than today. I think we’ve made a lot of progress actually.