Oxford University has restarted the testing process of the COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed with the help of AstraZeneca. The study process was interrupted after it was reported that a patient in the UK had severe side effects.
On Tuesday, AstraZeneca said the trial was stopped to investigate whether the patient’s harsh reaction was related to the given vaccine.
Later on Saturday, the university said their vaccine is safe and the process should continue. The news was well-received by Matt Hancock, the Minister of Health. He said the hiatus showed that safety is paramount and therefore it is helping scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as possible.
In its statement, the university acknowledged that it was expected that some patients would react strongly in such large studies.
The university added that they will resume the vaccine study following a safety review by an independent committee and recommendations from the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority.
The university said it would not divulge the patient’s information on confidential matters. However, the New York Times spilled the beans that the patient was diagnosed with as having transverse myelitis, an inflammatory disease that affects the spinal cord and which can also be caused by viral infections.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 180 people have been given the vaccine and are being monitored. It was said that none of these candidates showed severe reactions, although they have not yet completed clinical trials.
After the successful Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, there is great hope that the vaccine will be the first to be approved the most effective against the contagious COVID-19 that has de-ramped the global economy.
In the Phase 3 trials that began in recent weeks, an estimated 30,000 people have participated in both the UK and the US.
Other countries that are also testing Oxford University’s vaccine are Brazil and South Africa.
Typically, the third phase of a clinical trial involves thousands of participants and can take years to complete. But with high demand and anticipation for an immediate solution to the current world pandemic that has killed more than 926,000 people after infecting 29,106,926 others around the world, it can end quicker than it is expected.
The UK itself, where the vaccine is being developed, has yet to celebrate victory over Covid-19. Prof. Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s scientific advisory group, warned that the COVID-19 situation in the country is on the verge of running out of control.
As of Saturday, 3,497 new cases and 9 new deaths were confirmed, bringing the total cases to 368,504 and 41,628 deaths, respectively. The official figures show that cases are on the rise again. The COVID-19 infection rate has increased to 1 and 1.2 and this is the first time since March.
All in all, what happened to the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine testing process is normal. At a press conference on Downing Street, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said it was not unusual what happened to the trial.
Wayne Sims is the Lead Editor for Chroniclex with 12 years of experience. Wayne has been working for Many Large Online Publications for nearly a decade and has published his articles in many prints and digital publications including Erieview Newsstand, Bond Court News and Private Entertainment. When Wayne is not busy writing She likes stitching.