Oxford Varsity resumes trial of COVID-19 vaccine

Oxford University has decided to resume clinical trials in the United Kingdom for the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the university in partnership with AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company.

Trial of the vaccine was stopped due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK. AstraZeneca had issued a statement on Tuesday saying the late-stage studies of the vaccine was paused while the company investigated whether the patient’s reported side effect was  connected with the vaccine.

The New York Times has previously reported the patient had been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome which affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections.

But the university today confirmed that trials would resume across all UK clinical trial sites.

“The ongoing randomised controlled clinical trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 will resume across all UK clinical trial sites.

“Globally some 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines as part of the trial.

“In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.

“On Sunday (06/09/2020) our standard review process triggered a study pause to vaccination across all of our global trials to allow the review of safety data by an independent safety review committee, and the national regulators. All routine follow-up appointments continued as normal during this period.

“The independent review process has concluded and following the recommendations of both the independent safety review committee and the UK regulator, the MHRA, the trials will recommence in the UK,” the university said.