Coronavirus: AstraZeneca halts vaccine trials over safety concerns

AstraZeneca halts coronavirus vaccine trials over safety concerns

AstraZeneca, a frontrunner in the development of a coronavirus vaccine, put its clinical trials on hold Tuesday after a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom, The New York Times reported.

According to STAT News, a health news website, AstraZeneca said in a statement that the company’s “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.”

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“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,” the company said. “In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully. We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline.”

AstraZeneca is one of three companies that have Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials ongoing in the United States, according to The Hill. The other companies conducting trials for potential vaccines are Pfizer and Moderna, the website reported.

It is not clear whether AstraZeneca or a regulator halted the trial, STAT News reported. The patient is expected to recover, according to the website.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford researchers at 62 sites in the United States, plus sites in the United Kingdom, the STAT News reported.

AstraZeneca has put its Phase 3 testing for a coronavirus vaccine on hold as they investigate an adverse reaction to one subject.
AstraZeneca has put its Phase 3 testing for a coronavirus vaccine on hold as they investigate an adverse reaction to one subject. (Alastair Grant/Associated Press)