University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials resume 

The AstraZeneca and Oxford Uni trials are back underway after a pause due to a reported side effect in a UK patient. 

AstraZeneca in a statement on Tuesday night that the studies of the vaccine had been paused while the company investigated whether the patient’s reported side effect is connected with the vaccine. 

Today Oxford Uni has confirmed trials will resume across all UK Clinical trial Sites.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the restart, saying: “Good news for everyone the Oxford vaccine trials are back up and running.

“This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible.”

It comes after the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told a Downing Street press conference what has happened in the Oxford trial is not unusual.

He added that similar events should also be expected in some of the other vaccine candidate trials.

News site Stat first reported the pause in testing and said the possible side effect occurred in a testing volunteer in Britain, who was expected to recover.

The vaccine is being tested in thousands of people in Britain and the US, and in smaller study groups in Brazil and South America.

The University of Oxford said: “The ongoing randomised controlled clinical trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 will resume across all UK clinical trial sites.

“Globally some 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines as part of the trial.

“In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.

“On Sunday 6 September our standard review process triggered a study pause to vaccination across all of our global trials to allow the review of safety data by an independent safety review committee, and the national regulators.

“All routine follow-up appointments continued as normal during this period.

“The independent review process has concluded and following the recommendations of both the independent safety review committee and the UK regulator, the MHRA, the trials will recommence in the UK.”

No details about the patient or the nature of the side effect were given.

Temporary holds on large medical studies are not uncommon, and looking into any unexpected reactions is a mandatory part of safety testing.

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