COVID vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca put on hold after ‘unexplained illness’

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AstraZeneca, one of the companies racing to make a vaccine against the coronavirus, seems to have hit a stumbling block.

The company put a hold on its COVID-19 clinical trials worldwide, while it investigated an adverse reaction in a trial participant in the United Kingdom.

OXFORD, ENGLAND – A general view of a sign outside of the University of Oxford Old Road Campus, which houses the Jenner Institute and is where the first human trials of a coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford is taking place in Oxford, England on April 29, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to Downing Street this week after recovering from Covid-19, said the country needed to continue its lockdown measures to avoid a second spike in infections. (Photo by Getty Images)

It’s not clear how long the stoppage will last. Sometimes reactions happen during a trial that are purely coincidental, but if they are serious enough, research is put on hold until they can be fully investigated.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” AstraZeneca said in a statement released late Tuesday. The company is testing a vaccine originally developed at Oxford University. “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.”

Source: USA Today