AstraZeneca halts Covid-19 vaccine test after unexplained illness

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca declared Tuesday it had “voluntarily paused” a randomized clinical experiment of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in what it called a routine action after a volunteer developed an unexplained sickness.

AstraZeneca, which is producing the drug beside the University of Oxford, is a frontrunner in the global race for a coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine.

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“As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow a review of safety data by an independent committee,” a spokesperson told.

“This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials,” AstraZeneca added that in large trials, illnesses will sometimes occur by chance but must be reviewed individually.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the spokesperson of AstraZeneca added.

It was not immediately clear where the victim was, or the nature and severity of their illness.

Holds during clinical trials are not unusual, but this is thought to be the first time it has occurred for a coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial. AstraZeneca is one of nine organizations currently in late-stage Phase 3 trials for their vaccine candidates.

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