60 MILLION doses of the Novavax Covid vaccine will be made on Teesside, it has tonight been confirmed, after the vaccine passed its UK clinical trial.

The clinical trials have shown the vaccine to be 89.3% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants, including against new UK variant.

The UK has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine, with manufacturing set to take place at Fujifilm Diosynth in Billingham, Teesside.

The vaccine will be delivered in the second half of this year, if approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who will assess whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.

The study was conducted during the period the new Covid-19 variant was first observed in Kent and began to circulate widely, with today’s results showing it was effective against the variant during the phase 3 trial.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted tonight: "Good news that the Novavax vaccine has proved effective in UK trials. Thank you to all the volunteers who made these results possible.

"Our medicines regulator will now assess the vaccine, which will be made in Teesside. If approved, we have 60m doses on order."

Welcoming the announcement, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The news that the Novavax coronavirus vaccine has passed its third and final stage of clinical trials is more good news in the fight against the virus. This means very soon, once the medicines regulator the MHRA give it the green light, we will have a fourth vaccine in our armoury to use against the virus.

“All 60million doses of the lifesaving vaccine will be manufactured right here in Teesside by Fujifilm Diosynth at their BioCampus in Billingham.

“Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve worked closely with government ministers and officials to make sure our hugely talented and world leading bioscience sector played a full role in vaccine production, this culminated in the deal being struck in August last year for Fujifilm Diosynth being the sole UK manufacturer of the Novavax jab.

“Once again Teesside is leading the way and putting itself on the world stage for the fantastic work we do in our region. This is a significant announcement that everyone in Teesside should be proud of as we are at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to get life back to normal and protect us all.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The results from the UK trial of Novavax’s vaccine look extremely promising, and I welcome the news that the company is planning to submit its data to the regulators.

“The UK moved quickly to procure 60 million doses from Novavax and I’m pleased to confirm the bulk of the vaccine will be manufactured on Teesside and delivered during this year, if approved for use.

“From the scientists and researchers to the thousands of UK trial volunteers, I am enormously grateful to everyone who is playing their part in this truly national effort to defeat this virus once and for all.”

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Having taken part in Novavax’s vaccine trial myself, I am particularly thrilled to see such positive results. I want to thank the thousands of trial volunteers, without whom these results would not have been possible.

“It will now be for the regulator to do its crucial work in assessing the efficacy and safety of this vaccine, but if approved it will be a further boost to our vaccination programme.”

Novavax’s candidate differs from those currently being used in the UK, combining an engineered protein from the virus that causes Covid-19 with a plant-based ingredient to help generate a stronger immune response. Having a diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the chances of ensuring there is a vaccine available for everyone across the UK.

The data published today come from more than 15,000 people who were recruited through the National Institute of Health Research vaccine registry, which was launched in July 2020 to support the UK’s efforts to deliver vaccines for Covid-19. Nearly 4,000 people in the study were over the age of 65.

Through the Vaccines Taskforce, the UK has secured early access to 367 million doses of seven of the most promising vaccines so far. To date, the UK Government has invested over £230 million into manufacturing a successful vaccine.

The UK was the first country in the world to procure, authorise and then deploy both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

Production of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine started last autumn where the bulk of the vaccine for the UK is being made in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, with filling into vials taking place in North Wales.

In total, more than 7.4 million people across the UK have now had a least one dose of the vaccine.