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COVID-19: Oxford varsity to resume vaccine trial suspended after participant’s illness

COVID-19: Oxford varsity to resume vaccine trial suspended after participant’s illness
September 13
00:04 2020

Clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca, a UK-Swedish drug firm, and Oxford University, are set to resume.

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The trials were suspended after a participant fell ill earlier.

TheCable had earlier reported how the institution and the biopharmaceutical giant halted the third-phase of the trials to ascertain whether the UK participant’s illness was linked to the vaccine.

But in a statement on Saturday, the varsity said the trials are now safe for resumption.

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The development, it said, was consequent upon the recommendations of an independent safety review committee as well as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which regulates medicine in the UK.

The institution explained that the earlier incident was not unusual, adding that in large trials, such as the one currently ongoing, “some participants will become unwell.”

Matt Hancock, UK’s health secretary, said the initial pause of the trials showed that safety will always come first.

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“Good news for everyone the Oxford vaccine trials are back up and running. This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible,” he wrote on Twitter.

Oxford and AstraZeneca had partnered in April to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, projecting it could begin supply in September if clinical trials were successful.

After successful phase one and two trials, the developers, on September 3, initiated the third trial, which is said to have involved about 30,000 participants in the US, the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 180 vaccine candidates are being tested around the world but none has yet completed clinical trials.

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More than 28 million people have contracted the novel disease while over 900,000 have been killed, according to Worldometer.

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