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Oxford University Suspends Its COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccines trials have been suspended after a participant had an adverse reaction in the UK.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine was fronted as the most effective vaccine to neutralise the deadly Chinese virus with backing from WHO which tabbed it as a strong contender among dozens being developed globally.

The drug, according to WHO could have been 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 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.

In a report published by BBC’s Medical Editor Fergus Walsh, all international trial sites have now been put on pause while an independent investigation reviews the safety data

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

This is the second time the Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial has been put on hold.

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

On Tuesday, Industry giants Johnson & Johnson, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merk, Moderna, Sanofi, Novavax and AstraZeneca signed a historic pledge to uphold scientific and ethical standards in the search for a vaccine.

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

Thomas Cueni, director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers said they do not expect a vaccine to meet its efficacy and safety guidelines in order to be approved this year because of the time it takes to test them safely.

This comes a time that China and Russia already rolled out and begun inoculating some key workers with domestically developed vaccines.

While WHO still lists Russia’s and Chinese vaccines as trials, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has suggested that coronavirus vaccines may be approved before completing a third phase of clinical trials.

Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote to President Trump urging the States to consider waiving certain requirements in order to be ready to distribute a potential vaccine by 1 November.

A move the Democratic Party flag bearer Joe Biden opposed bearing in mind that the CDC wants to roll out a vaccine just two days before the November 3rd  US presidential election.


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