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Covid-19 vaccine trials paused globally for safety review

By The SATimes News Service

Washington/New Delhi: Even as President Trump has promised the Covid-19  vaccine announcement before the Nov 3 election, vaccine trials of one candidate were stopped globally after a recipient in U.K. showed adverse symptoms.

It all started after a large, Phase 3 study testing a Covid‑19 vaccine

being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford at

many sites in the U.S. was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse

reaction in a participant in the UK.

On Wednesday, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center announced it has put on hold the trials for the potential  vaccine  after AstraZeneca announcement.

In early September, this Ohio center had announced it was recruiting 500 volunteers for the trial. It was one of numerous institutions selected to administer the vaccine developed by Astra Zeneca to 30,000 Americans, thousands in Europe and others in South America.

Meanwhile, in India, the Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday also paused the clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Astra Zeneca following a notice from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

In a statement released on Thursday, the SII said, “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts the trials. We are following DCGI’s instructions.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine is one of several undergoing rapid trials in the U.S. as part of “Operation Warp Speed”. As its name suggests, the plan from the Department of Health and Human Services partners private firms and other federal agencies to accelerate the development of Covid-19 counter measures. It aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine to Americans by January 2021.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said their coronavirus vaccine could still be ready before the end of the year.  He was speaking at an online conference on Thursday and sought to reassure investors.

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