AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine trials

Coronavirus: Drug controller tells Serum Institute to stop recruiting for further vaccine trials

Some 6,000 people in Egypt will participate in phase 3 clinical trials of two Chinese coronavirus vaccines, a statement by the Health Ministry cited Minister Hala Zayed as saying, as part of an worldwide effort to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine.

It is not uncommon for large-scale trials of this kind to be halted in order for scientists to investigate any unexpected reactions.

Together with the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is on the list of WHO-monitored list of candidate vaccines on a quest to get approved for industrial production once they complete all three required phases of clinical trials.

Despite the intense attention on the development of this particular COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to note these kinds of clinical trial pauses are routine.

Safety data has been reviewed, it said, adding: "Following the recommendations of both the independent safety review committee and the United Kingdom regulator, the MHRA, the trials will recommence in the United Kingdom".

Charlotte Summers, lecturer in intensive care medicine at Cambridge University, welcomed the resumption of the Oxford trial and said the researchers had shown their commitment "to putting safety at the heart of their development program".

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, as the trial sponsor, on Saturday said that they can not disclose further medical information but confirmed that independent investigations concluded that the trials were safe to restart.


The company declined to disclose details about the illness but said it would "continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume".

Pauses in drug trials are commonplace. It is now in the late-stage clinical trials in the US, Britain, Brazil, and South Africa while more trials are planned to take place in Russian Federation and Japan. Still, the pause drew extraordinary attention because of the urgent need for progress on Covid-19 vaccines in the midst of the pandemic.

The fact that some pharmaceutical companies delegate the risks associated with their vaccines to countries which buy them raises additional questions, the RDIF chief said.

The shipbroker also noted that "overall, with so many vaccines being in final stages, experts appear to be confident that at least one will be successful".

A recent study published in the British Journal, The Lancet, said there is increasing vaccine hesitancy in many parts of the world at a time when a vaccine to fight COVID-19 is eagerly awaited.

It uses a weakened version of a common cold-causing adenovirus engineered to code for the spike protein that COVID-19 uses to invade cells. The virus has also claimed 9,16,715 lives globally.

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