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A real game changer! New Zealand will conduct testing of the VLA2001 vaccine.

Andrew Reeve

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The VLA2001 vaccine, developed by the Valneva biotech business in France, has already been tested on over 4000 volunteers across Europe.

Reported on August 17th, the company is now recruiting 300 adults across New Zealand to test the VLA2001 vaccine. Participants must be at least 56 years old and have never had Covid-19 or been vaccinated against it.

Dr. Simon Carson, Director of Southern Clinical Trials in Christchurch, is the trial's principal coordinating investigator. He claims that the trials are being undertaken in New Zealand because of the country's low case numbers and slow vaccination rollout program.

"The experiment started in the UK, but it required people, who have not had Covid and have not had a Covid vaccine, and with the rapid rollout and state of Covid in the UK, they were practically out of test subjects, and New Zealand was pretty much the only choice left to continue on with the testing.

PharmaSols is in charge of the clinical trial in New Zealand, which will take place at eight Pacific Research Network sites across the country. In comparison to some of the newer mRNA vaccines, Carson noted the VLA2001 vaccine is different from the Pfizer vaccine in that it is a traditionally developed vaccine. "Rather than merely developing antibodies for the spike proteins, like the Pfizer one does, it is expected that this vaccine will produce a somewhat broader range of antibodies, giving you additional protection against other strains."

The vaccination is administered in two doses, four weeks apart. Participants will keep electronic diaries of any symptoms they experience, as well as blood testing to track their antibody levels. "No vaccine is completely safe; there are a variety of side effects, including local side effects such as a slightly sore arm or swelling, as well as more generalized adverse effects like a higher temperature or feeling unwell for several hours or longer. "Throughout the experiment, the side effects are monitored and accessed by a safety committee, and they appear to be no different than any other vaccine."

The trial has been advertised, and according to Dr. Carson, it has received a solid response thus far. "It's coinciding with the national rollout of the Pfizer vaccination, so quite a few individuals have already had the Pfizer vaccine, and people have contacted us saying, 'Oh, I would have come on to this trial, if I had heard about it earlier.

"New forms of Covid vaccinations are still required to ensure that all demographic groups have access to safe and effective immunizations.

Dr Frances Priddy, clinical evaluation director of the Vaccination Alliance Aotearoa Future Zealand, said she supports the trial and the expansion of New Zealand's participation in new Covid-19 vaccine studies.

"New Zealand must remain a part of the worldwide effort to produce Covid-19 vaccines." New Zealanders have the opportunity to participate in this study on a personal level. Older adults' participation is crucial in the evaluation of new vaccines for this country."

"The fight against Covid-19 continues," said Juan Carlos Jaramillo, chief medical officer of Valneva. "It's absolutely crucial that we continue to acquire as much data as possible in all age categories across the community."

Outside of Europe, New Zealand is the only country where the VLA2001 vaccine is being tested.

Source: RNZ News


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Someone commented on Crest toothpaste.

This is Aquafresh.

Basically the same but with a different taste and some different ingredients.


We're talking another conventional vaccine of which we can't yet say anything until proper trials are completed.

I'm not knocking them for their efforts. But the other companies employees do not sit at home with their arms crossed. They continue developing their vaccines and are likely to stay ahead.

Too early to say anything for the moment.

I'm not holding out for it.

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I believe the science should clearly concentrate their efforts on solid therapeutic measures more so than surface prophylactic vaccines, as they can't keep up with ever changing cycles. 

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