Drug company pauses vaccine trial after illness

AstraZeneca stops giving shots of experimental coronavirus vaccine after a participant got sick, which could delay or derail efforts to speed immunization.

By

World News

September 9, 2020 - 9:30 AM

A general view of AstraZeneca is seen during Prime Minister Scott Morrison's visit on August 19, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. AstraZeneca Plc stopped giving shots of its vaccines after one of the participants got sick. Photo by (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images/TNS)

AstraZeneca Plc stopped giving shots of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after a person participating in one of the company’s studies got sick, a potential adverse reaction that could delay or derail efforts to speed an immunization against COVID-19 for the world.

The pause stemmed from a standard review of the company’s vaccine trials after one person developed an unexplained illness, AstraZeneca said in a statement. The move was intended to give researchers time to examine safety data while maintaining the integrity of the trials, the company said.

The vaccine, which AstraZeneca is developing with researchers from the University of Oxford, has been viewed as one of the leading candidates to reach the market. The decision to tap the brakes jolted investors, sending AstraZeneca’s U.S.-traded shares down sharply, while boosting the stocks of some rivals developing different potential COVID-19 shots.

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