Clinical trial resumes on AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine

Cheryl Sanders
September 15, 2020

Serum Institute had initiated phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials for the vaccine in India in August.

Poonawalla's statement comes as drug companies across the world scramble for an effective vaccine that will fight against COVID-19, which has killed almost 950,000 people worldwide.

Two days after the worrying news of the clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine candidate being halted, the drugmaker revealed that a participant had developed severe neurological symptoms.

According to a September 12 statement from the drug company, the studies were paused "to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and worldwide regulators".

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, announced that the UAE has authorised the emergency use of the Covid19 vaccine; making it available to those first line defence heroes, who are most at risk of catching Covid19, protecting them from any danger that they may be exposed to due to the nature of their work.

In this instance, a rapid review by the MHRA led to a recommendation the trials be restarted. Will we have a Vaccine before the Election? Being alert to potential adverse reactions with any new vaccine is part of the process, he explained. So far, around 100 participants have been administered the vaccine in India.

The Briton who suffered the potentially unsafe side effects is expected to recover, but Oxford University says it "cannot disclose medical information about the illness for reasons of participant confidentiality".

On Sept. 6, AstraZeneca says, all studies around the world of this particular candidate vaccine were paused after one volunteer in the United Kingdom developed symptoms consistent with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that can cause paralysis.

The university insisted that it was "committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our studies and will continue to monitor safety closely".

Company CEO Albert Bourla has said it is "likely" the U.S. will get a coronavirus vaccine treatment to the public before the end of the year.

On Sept. 8, nine drug companies, including Pfizer, released a letter pledging that they would prioritize safety and uphold " the integrity of the scientific process" in their efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines.

At the same time, the global coronavirus death toll has risen to 929,005, with more than 28 million infections on Monday.

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