AstraZeneca resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials in United Kingdom; awaits regulators elsewhere

AstraZeneca resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials in United Kingdom; awaits regulators elsewhere

Clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca, a UK-Swedish drug firm, and Oxford University, are set to resume.

The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, developed with researchers from the University of Oxford, were suspended last week after an illness in a study subject in Britain, casting doubts on an early rollout.

There are almost 180 candidates being explored globally - but none has yet reached the end goal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says almost 180 vaccine candidates are being tested around the world but none has yet completed clinical trials. The MHRA concurred and gave the green light for the trial to restart.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson confirmed the pause in vaccinations covered studies in the US and other countries.

The institution explained that the earlier incident was not unusual, adding that in large trials, such as the one now ongoing, "some participants will become unwell".

The researchers will try Oxford's vaccine that is now under temporary suspension and the vaccine developed by Imperial College which entered the human testing phase in June this year.

The volunteers in whom the vaccine will be tested must be healthy people, without disease or undertaking any form of existing medical treatment, except in the group over 65s in which some type of mild disease that does not interfere with the possible results is permitted. Three vaccines are in Phase II, three in Phase I/II, and the remaining two are in Phase I, and the depth of the data shared ranges from complete to a preliminary analysis.

While South Korean authorities would like to inoculate the entire population of 52 million, uncertainty around any vaccine's safety, efficacy and development was limiting investment, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a cabinet meeting.

Dr. Nawal Al-Kaabi said that the UAE hosts a number of advanced clinical trial facilities, such as the ADNEC Center, which is considered one of the world's largest field clinics for trials, supporting the participation of 31,000 volunteers from 125 nationalities. This is the second known hold of studies of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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