Pause In Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Not Unexpected, Shows Safety A Primary Concern, Experts Say

POLITICO: AstraZeneca pausing coronavirus vaccine trial is ‘normal,’ say scientists
“Pausing a late-stage human vaccine trial is normal. What’s not is that the world is watching. News broke overnight in Europe from STAT that trials of a front-runner coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford had to be paused after one participant reported a negative reaction. But some experts who jumped into the fray on Wednesday argued there’s no cause for grave concern…” (Deutsch, 9/9).

Washington Post: Major coronavirus vaccine trial is paused to investigate unexplained illness
“… ‘The announcement [Tuesday] about the AstraZeneca vaccine is a concrete example of how even a single case of an unexpected illness is sufficient to require a clinical hold for the trial in multiple countries,” said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, at a Senate hearing. The announcement comes as scientists and a growing number of Americans express concern about the politicization of the vaccine approval process during a presidential election campaign. President Trump has made approval of a coronavirus vaccine a cornerstone of his campaign and repeatedly said it could be greenlighted before the Nov. 3 election. But Collins and other scientists pointed to AstraZeneca’s decision as evidence that scientists, rather than politicians, are running the process. The experts said that it was hard to estimate how long the investigation would take, but that the pause was not unexpected in trials of this size and scale, where many thousands of people are closely followed…” (Johnson et al., 9/9).

Additional coverage of the AstraZeneca trial and other efforts to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available from AP, Financial Times, The Hill (2), Nature, POLITICO, and Washington Post.

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