The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial which was suspended following an ‘unexplained illness’ in a patient has resumed again, after getting a nod from the safety watchdogs.
On September 9th, AstraZeneca, the pharma giant co-developing the Oxford University vaccine trial announced they’ve halted the phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine after a patient unexpectedly developed spinal cord-related complications.
Following the illness, the same vaccine under trial in the US was also halted, and the same was followed by India’s Serum Institute where the Oxford Vaccine was under the trail.
“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,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.
But Saturday’s announcement said the vaccine was deemed safe to continue with the trial and AstraZeneca declined to comment on the medical condition of the patient’s condition who suffered from the rare symptom.
In India, The Serum Institute has said it will continue the trial once the Drug Controller General of India allows, Reuters reported. Brazil’s healthcare regulator ANVISA said on Saturday, it has approved the resumptions of trial after reviewing MHRA data.
AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine is being touted as one of the world’s most advanced and promising vaccines under development, among the 100 plus others, as per WHO.
Following the unexpected pause of the trial, WHO raised concerns on the futility of people’s perpetual faith on a vaccine to curb the pandemic, while deflecting social distancing norms at the same time.
WHO’s chief scientists said this pause is a ‘wake-up call’ and it emphasized vaccine development may come with its own ups and downs. Experts, however, said such a pause is expected, if not common, and shows the development is going in the right direction.
AstraZeneca has earlier promised to deliver over 3 billion vaccine doses to governments worldwide, without profit at this time of the pandemic, which is a volume larger than any other organization so far.
On Thursday, the pharma giant’s CEO said, despite the global pause for a few days, the company can still deliver the doses by the end of this year, which is quite a big claim for a company at the time of a pandemic.
Globally, COVID-19 cases are shooting up daily, with the most cases coming from India, US followed by European nations like France. On Sunday, India’s COVID national total went up by 94k new cases to 4.7 million.
Meanwhile, globally, there are 28,791,708 confirmed cases, with 920,847 deaths around the world. The US alone has nearly 6.5 million cases.