LAKE MARY, Fla. - Novavax Inc. is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The company received $1.6 billion last year from the federal government to speed up testing and production. As it nears completion of its Phase 3 trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, which was found to be nearly 90% effective during clinical testing in the United Kingdom, it is grabbing headlines around the world.
In Central Florida, the company is starting paid clinical trials in DeLand and Lakeland to see how effective the same vaccine is on teenagers.
Dr. Bruce Rankin, of Accel Research Sites, is running the trials in DeLand. He says the research site is looking for children from 12 to 17 years old to participate.
"We need ethnic diversity like we've had on our other trials, so minorities are welcome to come in too," Dr. Rankin says.
Participants will be monitored for two years. They'll get paid too.
"It’s two shots, three weeks apart, exactly the same as what we have experienced for the last many months," explains Dr. James Andersen, with Accel Research Sites.
Novavax says their two-dose vaccine has a protein cap that helps it get into the bloodstream faster. It also claims it has fewer side effects than other shots.
According to the company, test results with adults have been promising, and hope for similar results in children. The vaccine could be approved by the FDA in four to five months.