Pete Harris from England recently found out that he would be missing his dream honeymoon to Iceland after participating in a vaccine trial for Novavax, reports BBC.
Vaccination trials produce positive results
Pete was a trial volunteer for the US-based vaccine Novavax. However, the vaccine has yet to be accepted by several countries for entry requirements. The company is hoping to apply for global approval by September.
In January, Novavax announced positive results after a clinical trial in the UK. The vaccine was shown to be 89.3% effective at defending against COVID-19 during its phased trial and 86% effective against the UK variant. Manufacturing agreements were made with Britain, with 60 million doses set to be produced.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool conducted a blind trial, of which Mr. Harris decided to assist with vaccine research by participating in the trial. He was given two doses in October, at three-week intervals, with half the participants receiving placebo. As mass vaccinations began in April, Mr. Harris enrolled in the experimental trials once more in April, receiving an additional two doses. This would ensure that he received Novavax through at least one of the attempts.
“Gutted” by canceled honeymoon to Iceland
Mr. Harris and his fiancée, Paula Watts, plan to wed at the end of July followed by a “dream” honeymoon to Iceland at the beginning of August. The initial entry requirements were different from when the couple booked the trip, now only permitting approved vaccines. Unfortunately, Mr. Harris was unable to receive an approved jab because the test center was not sure how it would react with Novavax.
He adds, “We were really looking forward to the Iceland trip, have spent large amounts of money, but it’s not so much the expense, we’ve invested a huge amount of time and effort in planning it, and now we won’t get the opportunity.”
Frustrations with clinical trials
Currently, trial volunteers are not able to display their vaccination status for travel or events. However, the British government announced that they would begin taking action to address this issue, developing a way for residents of England to display their vaccine status after taking part in clinical trials.
Nonetheless, it is up to each individual country on whether they will permit experimental vaccinations to satisfy entry requirements. Most European countries do not accept vaccines that are still waiting for approval.
Mr. Harris explains, “It’s very frustrating because we have been told we will not be disadvantaged by going on the trial, but however you paint it, we have been. We really wanted something different for our honeymoon, and our big Iceland trip has fallen on its backside because of this.” The couple is instead considering Greece, one of the few countries to accept Novavax, as Iceland is no longer a possibility.
Novavax awaits approval
Novavax is currently being reviewed by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medical Agency (EMA). Novavax announced, “We are committed to continuing to work with urgency to achieve approval for our vaccine … and expect to file for authorization in the third quarter of this year.”
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