TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A fourth vaccine could become available for Americans towards the end of the year.
A company called Novavax announced Monday that it’s COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective against the disease and also that it works against variants! Some of the trials for the vaccine were done right here in Tampa Bay.READ MORE: Ghosts of Ybor City
In a statement released from Novavax, scientists say trials show the vaccine is 100% effective at preventing severe disease and has an overall efficacy of 90.4%.
One local doctor worked directly with the phase three trials of the vaccine in Tampa Bay and says it’s easier to transport and it produces a higher amount of antibodies.
Dr. Carina Rodriquez monitored patients and results at the University of South Florida during the phase three trials of the new vaccine being produced by Novavax.
“It was really very exciting to see that efficacy in the 90%,” said Rodriguez.
The trials started in December of 2020.
“Here at USF, we enrolled about 350 participants in this study,” said Rodriguez.
The University of South Florida was one of 119 trial sites across the United States and Mexico and Dr. Rodriguez says this vaccine is a little different than others.READ MORE: Atlanta HBCU Students Demand Better Housing Conditions, More Funding
“It’s a protein base in comparison to some others in the market that are with the viral vector or with an mRNA vaccine,” said Rodriguez.
She says the new vaccine has advantages from being made more recently.
“This vaccine was done at a time when there were more variants, kind of different viruses circulating, so there’s a lot of information in that sense,” said Rodriguez.
Dr. Rodriguez says the new vaccine could be used for people in other countries who don’t have access to any vaccine options.
“Preservation in regular refrigerators so that, in comparison to some other vaccines, may be easier, the logistics of distribution,” said Rodriguez.
There’s one other big difference she’s noticed through the trials.
“The antibody response tends to be higher, so that’s important for people who respond less to vaccines, maybe elderly or patients that have a lower immune system,” said Rodriguez.MORE NEWS: Drive-Thru Pumpkin Patch Put On By Sheriff Chad Chronister
In the statement from Novavax, the company says it plans to produce 100 to 150 million vaccines by the end of 2021. Dr. Rodriquez says her trial isn’t over yet and she will continue monitoring all 350 patients for the next two years.