COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine iStock

AstraZeneca has paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates after a suspected serious adverse reaction in a study participant, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing health news website Stat News.

Stat News quoted an AstraZeneca spokesperson as saying in a statement that the “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.”

The study is testing a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford researchers at various sites, including the United Kingdom, where the adverse event was reported.

The nature of the case and when it happened were not detailed, although the participant is expected to recover, according to Stat News.

The suspension of the trial has impacted other AstraZeneca vaccine trials as well as clinical trials being conducted by other vaccine makers, which are looking for signs of similar reactions, the report said.

The AstraZeneca spokesperson’s statement said that “in large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.” Stat reported that serious adverse reactions vary and can include issues that require hospitalization, life-threatening illness and death.

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Pfizer/BioNTech alliance are also working on a vaccine for the virus.

US President Donald Trump recently estimated that a vaccine for coronavirus may be produced ahead of the US presidential election on November 3.

Last week it was reported that the Trump administration has urged US states to get ready to distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine by November 1.

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