Oxford University to resume Covid-19 vaccine trial

Oxford vaccine trial paused as participant falls il
The outcome of vaccine trials is being closely watched across the world. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca will resume after being paused due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK.

On Tuesday, AstraZeneca announced that the studies were being paused while it investigated whether the adverse reaction was linked with the vaccine.

But the Oxford university said on Sunday it had been deemed safe to continue.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the news that the trials would resume.

He said: “This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible.”

In a statement, the university said that it was “expected” that “some participants will become unwell” in large trials such as this one.

The statement added that the studies could now resume following the recommendations of an independent safety review committee and the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca would not disclose information about the patient’s illness for confidentiality reasons, but a report of the New York Times says that a volunteer in the UK trial had been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and can be caused by viral infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says nearly 180 vaccine candidates are being tested across the world but none has yet completed clinical trials.

Hopes have been high that the Oxford vaccine might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase 1 and 2 testing.

Its move to Phase 3 testing in recent weeks has involved some 30,000 participants in the US, UK, Brazil and South Africa. Phase 3 trials in vaccines often involve thousands of participants and can last several years.

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