UK pharmaceutical firm pauses Covid-19 vaccine trial after unexplained illness

By AFP bureaus |

Some Spanish parents feared schools were opening too soon with millions of pupils returning on Monday. Photo: AFP / JOSE JORDAN

The company said that in large trials, illnesses will sometimes happen by chance but must be reviewed independently.

Clinical trials of one of the most advanced experimental Covid-19 vaccines, which is being developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, were “paused” Tuesday after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.

With billions of people around the world still suffering from the fallout of the pandemic and the global death toll nearing 900,000, a worldwide race for a vaccine is under way, with nine companies already in late-stage Phase 3 trials.

Worldwide infections to date now stand at more than 27 million, and more than 890,000 people have died from the disease.

Russia has already approved a vaccine, and research published in The Lancet medical journal last week said patients involved in early tests developed antibodies with “no serious adverse events.” But scientists cautioned the trials were too small.

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