Recipient of Covid-19 vaccine diagnosed with unknown disease: AstraZeneca puts trials on hold over safety concern

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While the world is eagerly waiting for an effective vaccine for Coronavirus pandemic, AstraZeneca, a frontrunner in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, has paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates after a suspected serious adverse reaction in a study participant, health news website Stat News reported on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca spokesperson said in a statement that the “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.” The study is testing a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford researchers at various sites, including the United Kingdom, where the adverse event was reported.

The nature of the case and when it happened were not detailed, although the participant is expected to recover, according to Stat News.

The suspension of the trial has impacted other AstraZeneca vaccine trials – as well as clinical trials being conducted by other vaccine makers, which are looking for signs of similar reactions, Stat said.

The AstraZeneca spokesperson’s statement said that “in large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.” Stat reported that serious adverse reactions vary and can include issues that require hospitalization, life-threatening illness and death.

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.