Oxford University said on Saturday that trials of a COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume.
AstraZeneca announced on Tuesday that the testings were being put on hold while they investigated whether a reported side effect in a UK patient related to the vaccine.
Around 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines globally as part of the trial. The university has not published medical information about the illness that caused the trial to be put on hold, citing participant confidentiality. However, The New York Times believes it is a certain spinal disease.
Oxford University said that the studies could now start again after an independent safety review committee and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency had given their recommendations.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Twitter: “This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible.”
After completing Phase 1 and Phase 2 testings successfully, many are hopeful that this vaccine will be the first one to hit the market. The Phase 3 stage of vaccine trials can involve thousands of subjects, often spanning several years. Most countries have already reserved millions of doses – including Hungary, having reserved five million.
Featured image by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI