Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials. The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine is seen as a strong contender among dozens being developed globally. Image credit: afro.who.int
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The suspected serious adverse reaction of the participant puts all international vaccination sites, in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, and the USA on hold.
Hopes have been high that the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase 1 and 2 testings.
US President Donald Trump’s desire for a coronavirus vaccine to be made available in the US before 3 November’s election suffers a huge set back as the final clinical trials were paused, according to a recent media report.
The final clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, were paused after a participant in the UK suffered unexplained illness in a suspected serious adverse reaction, putting all international vaccination sites, in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, and the USA are on hold.
The cause of the illness has not been confirmed and an independent investigation will now work out if there was any link to the vaccine.
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The New York Times reported that a volunteer in the UK trials has been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and can be caused by viral infections.
Even though AstraZeneca described it as a “routine” pause in the case of “an unexplained illness” and the report stating that the decision on restarting trials could take days, Donald Trump, The US President’s desired deadline for the coronavirus vaccine may have now become unrealistic.
Hopes have been high that the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase 1 and 2 testings. The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine is seen as a strong contender among dozens being developed globally.
Its move to Phase 3 testing in recent weeks involved some 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Phase 3 trials in vaccines often involve thousands of participants and can last several years.
That was the second time it had happened with the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial since the first volunteers were immunized in April.
Wellcome Trust director Sir Jeremy Farrar, an expert in infectious disease control, said there were often pauses in vaccine trials and it was important any information on serious adverse reactions be shared openly and transparently since the public must have absolute trust that these vaccines are safe and effective.
The outcome of vaccine trials is being closely watched around the world.
According to the report, a group of nine Covid-19 vaccine developers on Tuesday sought to reassure the public by announcing a “historic pledge” to uphold scientific and ethical standards in the search for a vaccine.
AstraZeneca was among the nine firms who signed up to the pledge to only apply for regulatory approval after vaccines have gone through three phases of the clinical study.
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