Oxford vaccine trial paused as participant falls ill

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: Final clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, have been put on hold after a participant had an adverse reaction in the UK.

AstraZeneca called it a “routine” pause in the case of “an unexplained illness”.

The outcome of vaccine trials is being closely watched across the world.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine is seen as a strong contender among dozens of other being developed around the world.

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

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

According to a BBC report, all international trial sites have now been put on pause while an independent investigation reviews the safety data before regulators decide whether the trial can restart.

An Oxford University spokesperson said: “In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully”.

This is the second time the Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial has been put on hold, as the BBC reports. Such events are routine in major vaccine trials, and happen any time a volunteer is admitted to hospital when the cause of their illness is not immediately apparent.

The trials could resume in a matter of days.

Stat News, the health website which first broke the story. It said details of the UK participant’s adverse reaction were not immediately known, but quoted a source as saying they were expected to recover.

US President Donald Trump has said he wants a Covid-19 vaccine available in the US before 3 November’s election, but his comments have raised fears that politics may be prioritised over safety in the rush for a coronavirus vaccine.

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