UK to offer new vaccine shots to Novavax trial volunteers

Britain says it it will offer new vaccinations to thousands of people who volunteered for trials of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine, which has not yet been approved for use in any country

Around 15,000 people in the U.K. got Novavax shots as part of a clinical trial. While the U.K. recognizes them as vaccinated, most countries don’t, meaning they can’t travel.

Britain has appealed to other members of the Group of 20 nations to classify clinical trial volunteers as vaccinated, but most haven’t done so.

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, noted that “if more countries around the world had reciprocated by allowing U.K. volunteers to enjoy fully vaccinated status for overseas travel, these measures would not have been necessary.”

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

The Novavax shots are easier to store and transport than some other options, and have long been expected to play an important role in increasing supplies in poor countries desperate for more vaccine doses.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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