Vaccine trials in United Kingdom to resume: AstraZeneca

Pascal Soriot chief executive of the drug company AstraZeneca in Washington on Feb. 26 2019. Researchers say drug companies need to be more open about how vaccine trials are run to reassure Americans who are skittish about getting a coronavirus vaccine

Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the United Kingdom.

"On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and worldwide regulators", the company said, adding, "The UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume". "The UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume", the statement read.

Clinical trials of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine will resume after they were paused on September 6th due to unexplained neurological symptoms in a participant.

Seven out of a total of 135 vaccines have managed to reach the third stage of clinical trials, she said.

The Russian vaccine is being developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which last month also entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine.

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

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The company said it could not disclose further medical information. The trial was resumed on Saturday with the approval of British regulators.

On September 10, SII told the Drug Controller General of India Dr V G Somani that the Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB), looking into follow-up data from the first set of volunteers vaccinated in India, had "noted no safety concerns". "We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible", he wrote on Twitter.

A Chinese pharmaceutical company has injected hundreds of thousands of people with experimental Covid-19 vaccines, as its Western counterparts warn against administering mass vaccinations before rigorous scientific studies are complete.

The outcome of these trials is being watched closely in India and globally as the AstraZeneca vaccine candidate is a strong contender and could be the first one to be rolled out being in an advanced stage.

AstraZeneca's vaccine uses a monkey adenovirus that shares a gene with the Covid-19 coronavirus - a platform that hasn't been subjected to any long-term studies. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that this is a routine step. The vaccine is likely to be made available if positive outcome is reached in the Phase III trials by early next year. News that the trial is resuming comes four days after the disclosure that it had been paused because of a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant.

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