Kate Bingham, Chair of the Government's Vaccine Taskforce, with a plaster on her arm after starting her Novavax trial at the Royal Free Hospital, north London.
  • Shares of Novavax jumped 10% on Friday after the company announced that it would supply over 1.1 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The company late Thursday unveiled a memorandum of understanding with GAVI to provide its vaccine in a push to guarantee fair and equitable distribution.
  • The company's vaccine was the first to demonstrate clinical efficacy against both the original strain of Covid-19 and emerging variants in other countries. 
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Shares of Novavax jumped 10% on Friday after the biotech firm announced that it would supply over 1.1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines as part of a global initiative. 

The Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company late Thursday unveiled a memorandum of understanding with GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, to provide its vaccine to the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative in a global push to guarantee fair and equitable vaccine distribution.

COVAX is a global vaccine initiative led by the GAVI, the World Health Organisation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Its goal is to distribute vaccines, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

On January 28, Novavax said its coronavirus vaccine was nearly 90% effective in a phase three trial conducted in the UK, but was not as successful against the variant first found in South Africa, with an efficacy rate of only 49.4% among 44 cases in the country.

Still, the company's vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, was the first to demonstrate clinical efficacy against both the original strain of Covid-19 and the emerging variants in other countries. NVX-CoV2373 can neither cause Covid-19 nor can it replicate, and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that stays stable from 2°C to 8°C, the temperature of a refrigerator.

"This agreement brings the COVAX Facility one step closer to its goal of supplying vaccines globally and ending the acute phase of the pandemic," Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, said in a statement. "It helps us close in on our goal of delivering two billion doses in 2021 and increases the range of vaccines available to us as we build a portfolio suitable for all settings and contexts."

Public health experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said there's new evidence that a Covid-19 vaccine may not only protect vaccinated people but also those with whom they come in contact.

"There have been some studies that are pointing into a very favorable direction," Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House Covid-19 briefing.

Many US states have faced logistical challenges in distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. The country is administering 1.6 million doses a day, though experts say the daily goal should be three million.

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