Pfizer shots offered to Novavax trial volunteers so they can travel

London: Britain announced that it will offer new vaccines to thousands of people who have volunteered for trials of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine, which has not yet been approved for use in any country.

About 15,000 people in Britain received Novavax injections as part of a clinical trial. While Britain recognizes them as vaccinated, most countries do not, which means they cannot travel.

A Novavax phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial vaccine volunteer receives an injection at St George’s University Hospital in London. Credit:AP

Britain’s health department said on Friday (Saturday AEDT) that more than 15,000 participants would receive two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

The government says it plans to expand the offering to about 6,000 British participants in trials of other vaccines that have also not been approved for use.

Britain has asked other members of the Group of 20 countries to classify clinical trial volunteers as vaccinated, but most have not.

Charging

England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam noted that “if more countries around the world had reciprocated by allowing UK volunteers to enjoy full vaccination status for overseas travel, these measures would not have been necessary.”

In June, Novavax announced that its vaccine had been shown to be 90 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in a study of nearly 30,000 people in the United States and Mexico.

US-based Novavax has asked the World Health Organization to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use so that it can be part of the global COVAX vaccine program. But it has delayed seeking approval in Europe or the United States.

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