Clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been put on a halt due to some “unexplained illness” detected in one of the recipients of the inoculation.
Stat News got a statement from AstraZeneca that confirmed the pause of the trials. In the report, a spokesperson from AstraZeneca stated that the break was triggered during a standard review process to permit evaluation of safety data. The spokesperson also noted that the company is conducting a thorough review of the single event to prevent prolonged delays.
BBC’s medical correspondent, Fergus Walsh tweeted: “Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial put on hold while suspected adverse reaction independently investigated. My understanding is this is standard procedure when anyone who is on a vaccine trial is admitted to hospital, and their cause of illness is unknown.”
Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial put on hold while suspected adverse reaction independently investigated. My understanding is this is standard procedure when anyone who is on a vaccine trial is admitted to hospital and their cause of illness is unknown
— Fergus Walsh (@BBCFergusWalsh) September 8, 2020
This is the second such halt in the vaccine trial. Experts believe that the tests are likely to resume in a few days.
Talking about the abruption, an Oxford University spokesperson stated:
Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s Phase 3 trials commenced in the U.S. in late August. Phase 2/3 trials were initiated earlier in U.K., Brazil, and South Africa. It is suspected that the adverse reaction occurred during Phase 2/3 trials in the U.K.
Oxford’s vaccine is one of the top contenders in the vaccine race and has consistently shown successful results in the earlier stages of clinical trials. In fact, the Serum Institute of India (SII) was also conducting the Phase 3 trials of this vaccine candidate, also called Covishield in India. On Monday, CEO of SII, Adar Poonawalla tweeted: “Proud and excited for the next few months and looking forward to the vaccine.”
In India, apart from Covishield, trials are underway for Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’, and Zydus Cadila’s ‘ZCOV-D’.