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Major COVID-19 vaccine trial resumes in United Kingdom following safety review


Pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Saturday said they had resumed a COVID-19 vaccine trial after getting the all-clear from British regulators, following a pause caused by a United Kingdom volunteer falling ill.

The Oxford University's Jenner Institute team started working to develop a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2, or the virus which causes COVID-19 in January this year and says it has been working with unprecedented urgency in a race against the coronavirus.

The Briton who suffered the potentially unsafe side effects is expected to recover, but Oxford University says it "cannot disclose medical information about the illness for reasons of participant confidentiality".

The British pharmaceutical company said it had voluntarily suspended trials to allow an independent committee to review the vaccine safety data.

The vaccine, which is being backed by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, is a leading contender to become the first to go into mass production.

The biggest drugmakers in the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine have been racing to lock up national supply deals for months in anticipation of global demand for a victor.

The Lancet medical journal requested "clarification" on Thursday from the authors of a Russian coronavirus vaccine study after independent scientists noted "inconsistencies" in their research, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Friday.

Earlier on September 11, Russia's sovereign wealth fund said more than one billion people would receive its COVID-19 vaccine "Sputnik-V" in 2020-21, the Interfax news agency reported.

Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, has accused Trump of "undermining public confidence" by regularly raising the possibility a vaccine will be ready before the election on November 3.

The human trials resumed days after a pause had been announced in the trials after an adverse reaction in one of the participants.

"These surfaces are specialised and produce a different immune response to the rest of the body".

The SII has said that it would resume trials "once DCGI will give us the permission to restart the trials in India".

On the anticipation for an effective Covid-19 vaccine, she said, "we have to remember that clinical trials take time, we can not rush them, because we have to collect enough data on enough numbers of people to satisfy ourselves and satisfy the regulatory agencies that a particular drug or vaccine is safe and having the effect that you want it to have".

In its statement, AZ said it would update all trial investigators and participants with relevant information, which would be disclosed on global clinical registries, according to the clinical trial and regulatory standards. The vaccine, co-developed with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, underwent trials at 89 sites across the US.