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Coronavirus: Oxford University resumes vaccine trial after pause

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Image copyright Reuters Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will resume after it was paused due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK.On Tuesday, AstraZeneca said the studies were being paused while it investigated whether the reported side effect was connected with the vaccine.But on…

Scientist at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility in Oxford on 24 June 2020

Image copyright
Reuters

Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will resume after it was paused due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK.

On Tuesday, AstraZeneca said the studies were being paused while it investigated whether the reported side effect was connected with the vaccine.

But on Saturday, Oxford University said it had been deemed safe to continue.

The vaccine is seen as a strong contender among dozens being developed.

Oxford University said in a statement that it was “expected” that “some participants will become unwell” in large trials like this one.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, echoed this view, telling a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday what had happened in the Oxford trial was not unusual.

The university added that the studies could now resume following the recommendations of an independent safety review committee and the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

No details about the patient or the nature of the side effect were given, but the New York Times reported that a volunteer in the UK trial had been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and can be caused by viral infections.

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