Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have reported promising results from trials of their Covid-19 vaccine, which has proved to be particularly effective against the Omicron strain of coronavirus.

The vaccine targets the original and the beta strains of Covid-19 but was also tested against the more recent Omicron variant. When used as a first dose, it demonstrated a 64.7 per cent efficacy rate against symptomatic infection overall in adults, and was 72 per cent effective against infections caused by Omicron. The vaccine was safe and well-tolerated in a trial of 13,000 people.

When used in people who had already been infected with Covid-19 — a proxy for how it might perform as a booster — the results were better. The vaccine was 75.1 per cent effective against infections overall and had a 93.2 per cent efficacy rate against infections caused by Omicron.

The trial results came after the vaccine makers reported positive results from a study of its beta-strained jab as a booster.

The French and British pharmaceutical companies hope their new shot will help them catch up after they fell far behind in the race to supply Covid-19 vaccines. Sanofi is leading the vaccine development, with GSK contributing its efficacy-enhancing adjuvant.

Thomas Triomphe, executive vice-president at Sanofi, said the drugmakers looked forward to completing their submissions to regulatory authorities. “mRNA has proven speed to market; we are demonstrating here the efficacy that our recombinant protein platform can provide to the world,” he said.

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