In a news that comes as a temporary setback for world's effort to get a coronavirus vaccine, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced that it had "voluntarily paused" a randomised clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine after a participant developed an unexpected illness. AstraZeneca has got the license for manufacturing the vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford. The Oxford vaccine is a frontrunner in the global race.
"As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee," a spokesperson said.
"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." It further said that in large trials, illnesses will sometimes happen by chance but must be reviewed independently.
"We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline," the spokesperson added.
The whereabouts of the patient, the nature and severity of their illness.
AstraZeneca is one of the nine companies currently in late-stage Phase 3 trials for their vaccine candidates.