COVID-19 Vaccine Update: In a rather unfortunate turn on the COVID-19 vaccine front, pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca has said that it “voluntarily paused” the clinical human trials of its vaccine candidate ‘Covishield’ with University of Oxford after one of the volunteers developed an unexpected illness.
“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,” the pharma said in a statement.
According to the company, a volunteer developed an adverse reaction to the vaccine trial for reasons not yet known. However, they said that the participant is expected to recover.
Further explaining why it had to stop the trials immediately, AstraZeneca said it was 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.”
“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the statement added.
Notably, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for coronavirus entered phase three clinical trials in the US last month, joining the group of vaccines in their final stage.