The vaccine candidate being developed by US firm Novavax has proved effective against the new UK strain of Covid in phase 3 trials.
The UK-based trial included 15,000 people and concluded the vaccine was 89.3% effective in preventing Covid-19.
It was carried out during the period that the new UK strain was first observed in Kent and began to circulate widely.
The UK has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine, which is due to be manufactured in Stockton-on-Tees.
The vaccine uses a different technology to both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, combining an engineered protein from the virus that causes Covid with a plant-based ingredient to generate an immune response.
The 15,000 trial participants were recruited via the National Institute of Health Research vaccine registry, launched in July 2020 to support the UK’s efforts to deliver Covid vaccines, with nearly 4,000 people in the study over the age of 65.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi personally participated in the trial.
He said: ‘Having taken part in Novavax’s vaccine trial myself, I am particularly thrilled to see such positive results. I want to thank the thousands of trial volunteers, without whom these results would not have been possible.
‘It will now be for the regulator to do its crucial work in assessing the efficacy and safety of this vaccine, but if approved it will be a further boost to our vaccination programme.’
Health secretary Matt Hancock added: ‘The NHS stands ready to roll this vaccine out as quickly as possible to those most at risk if it is authorised.’
Novavax told the BBC it expects to being manufacturing by March or April and hopes for regulatory approval from the MHRA around the same time.
Some 7.4 million people have now had their first Covid vaccine dose in the UK.