COVID-19 vaccine trial paused after participant gets ‘unexplained illness’

Officials at AstraZeneca did not detail the nature of the adverse reaction or at which phase of the trial it occurred.

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A coronavirus vaccine trial taking place in the United Kingdom, reportedly in its final stage, was paused after a participant developed an “unexplained illness.”

The vaccine in development by AstraZeneca was paused after a spokesperson said that the company’s “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow a review of safety data.”

A sign outside of the University of Oxford Old Road Campus, which is where the first human trials of a coronavirus vaccine was taking place. (Photo by Getty Images)

Officials did not detail the nature of the adverse reaction, and at which phase of the trial it occurred was not announced. The participant is expected to recover, an individual familiar with the matter told StatNews, which broke the story.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson described the pause as “a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.”

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The spokesperson also said that the company is “working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline.” The company, they said, is “committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

AstraZeneca only began its Phase 3 trial in the U.S. in late August. The U.S. trial is currently taking place at 62 sites across the country.

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President Donald Trump has said that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready for Americans as soon as October.

But when it comes to the safety of a U.S. vaccine, Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, has had made it clear she “would not trust Donald Trump,” maintaining that “it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about.”

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Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden said that he would take a vaccine “tomorrow” if it were approved by scientists.

He and Harris have been accused by the president and other Republicans of trying to sow distrust in a vaccine.

“She’s talking about disparaging a vaccine so people don’t think the achievement was a great achievement,” Trump claimed. “I don’t want the achievement for myself. I want something that will make people better.”

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