The U.S.-made vaccine study was conducted in South Africa and included around 2,700 volunteers who had not yet had the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
The study also looked at the effectiveness of the vaccine compared to people with HIV. Among this demographic group, the vaccine was 43% effective against the South African strain B.1.351. The main aim of the study was to determine the performance of the drug in HIV negative people and those who are HIV positive and medically stable.
Ninety-four percent of the participants were HIV negative and six percent were HIV positive.
It was also found that a previous infection with an earlier version of the coronavirus was not effective in reducing the risk of coronavirus caused by the B.1.351 variant.
The South African variant has been shown to be more difficult to prevent with vaccines available from Pfizer and Moderna. An Israeli study published in April that was not peer reviewed found that the South African variant could “break” the protection offered by the Pfizer vaccine.
Reuters notes that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness has not been shown in the published results.
The Novavax vaccine has not been approved for use in the United States. It is currently under continuous review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
In January, Novavax said its vaccine was found to be 89.3% effective in preventing the coronavirus. The phase 3 clinical trial was conducted in the UK, where more than 50% of cases are attributed to the most infectious UK strain.