Sanofi-GSK COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Effective Against Omicron

Sanofi-GSK COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Potent Versus Omicron

Positive news continues to roll out for COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution efforts, with Sanofi and GSK announcing the success of their vaccine candidate against the Omicron variant.

Outcomes from Stage 2 of the Phase III study of VAT08 including over 13,000 adult participants confirmed the vaccine's action, demonstrating a 64.7% efficacy versus symptomatic COVID-19 and 72% efficacy versus Omicron-linked symptomatic cases. Results from the Stage 1 group showcased similar results.

In both stages, VAT08 had a favorable tolerability and safety profile.

"Today's results reinforce the strong potential for the Beta antigen to confer broad protection against multiple strains that cause COVID-19. With the immunogenicity data from our Beta-booster vaccine, they support our belief that, in a largely seropositive world, a next-generation Beta booster vaccine could provide protection against variants like Omicron," Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president, vaccines at Sanofi, said in a statement.

"mRNA has proven speed to market; we are demonstrating here the efficacy that our recombinant protein platform can provide to the world. We look forward to completing our submissions to regulatory authorities and are ready to contribute to ongoing vaccination campaigns with our next-generation booster," Triomphe added.

Given the positive results, Sanofi said it would begin discussions with regulatory authorities with the goal of making the product available before the year ends.

One Year Later, Study Confirms COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

On a related note, a recent review of the outcomes of global COVID-19 vaccine efforts in the first year showed that while the prompt response to vaccine creation saved millions, it could still have led to better statistics.

A report published in The Lancet evaluated the global impact of the various vaccination programs in year one, effectively stating that the virus would have led to more fatalities if the vaccines had not been rolled out immediately. COVID-19 vaccines have saved some 20 million lives in their first year of release, according to the report. The first vaccine outside a clinical trial setting was given on Dec. 8, 2020.

However, the same report also acknowledged the distribution and supply shortfalls in 2021. The World Health Organization targeted 40% coverage, while COVAX aimed for 20% coverage by the end of 2021, which was not achieved.

"The results highlight the substantial impact that vaccination has had on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also illustrate the broader impact of COVID-19 vaccination in terms of allowing countries with high vaccine coverage to relax interventions. Furthermore, the findings highlight the importance of equitable access to vaccines, particularly in low-income regions, where substantially more lives could have been saved if the vaccination targets were met," the study reads.

World Bank data shows that the majority of vaccines, or 68.8%, rolled out in the first year went to high-income countries, compared to the 3.57% in low-income countries. The WHO data corroborate these facts, with 62.4% of vaccines going to the Western Pacific region in year one and only 5.48% to the African region.

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