Major COVID-19 vaccine trial resumes in United Kingdom following safety review

Clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Irish-led Oxford University researchers to resume

Major COVID-19 vaccine trial resumes in United Kingdom following safety review

"Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, have resumed in the United Kingdom following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so", AstraZeneca said in an official statement. Being alert to potential adverse reactions with any new vaccine is part of the process, he explained.

"In phase one trial, the vaccine is tested on a small group of people, say, between 20 and 80. All trial investigators and participants will be updated with relevant information and this will be disclosed on global clinical registries, according to the clinical trial and regulatory standards", the firm said.

Around 18,000 participants have had AZD1222 as part of the trial, AZ said.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca study had previously been stopped in July for several days after a participant developed neurological symptoms that turned out to be an undiagnosed case of multiple sclerosis that researchers said was unrelated to the vaccine.

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"In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully", the University of Oxford had said in an official statement. Volunteers from some of the worst affected countries - Britain, Brazil, South Africa and the US - are taking part in the trial.

"AstraZeneca is committed to the safety of trial participants and the highest standards of conduct in clinical trials". The vaccine is undergoing Phase 3 trials.

No details of the nature of the side effect have been given.

The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), on August 11.

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Professor Robin Shattock, from Imperial's Department of Infectious Disease and research lead on the Imperial vaccine, said: "A number of groups around the world are now working on clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, and these will tell us whether these candidates can produce a systemic immune response against the virus".

CEO Kirill Dmitriev on Saturday said that temporary suspension of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate trials clearly showed the "fallacy of the approach" when countries "exclusively rely on novel and untested platforms" while choosing a vaccine for widespread use.

On the anticipation for an effective Covid-19 vaccine, she said, "we have to remember that clinical trials take time, we can not rush them, because we have to collect enough data on enough numbers of people to satisfy ourselves and satisfy the regulatory agencies that a particular drug or vaccine is safe and having the effect that you want it to have".

Italy's health minister, Roberto Speranza, welcomed the resumption of the vaccine trial, but warned that prudence was still necessary.

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