- Final-stage trials in the UK to resume after it was halted over concerns about a participant who fell ill
- Earlier, AstraZeneca CEO said that the vaccine could still be available by the end of the year
The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca have restarted a UK trial of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine after it was halted over concerns about a participant who fell ill.The UK Medicines Health Regulatory Authority recommended that the trials resume after an independent review of the safety data triggered a pause on September 6, Oxford said in a statement. It declined to disclose details about the volunteer’s illness.
While temporary halts are common in vaccine trials, the interruption to the closely watched Astra-Oxford study had raised concerns about the viability of one of the fastest-moving experimental shots seeking protection from the pandemic.
The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine has compressed what is normally a decade-long process into a matter of months, with data from final-stage trials expected as soon as next month.
Statements from Astra and Oxford on Saturday didn’t say anything about the status of tests outside the UK. Trials of the Oxford vaccine were under way in the US, Brazil, South Africa and India before being paused after the safety review.