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AstraZeneca pauses coronavirus vaccine trial after unexplained illness in volunteer

September 8, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Drug giant AstraZeneca said Tuesday it had paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers.

(CNN)Drug giant AstraZeneca said Tuesday it had paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers.

It's a standard precaution in vaccine trials that is meant to ensure experimental vaccines don't cause serious reactions among participants.

"As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data," the company said in a statement sent to CNN.

Earlier Tuesday, AstraZeneca joined eight other companies in signing a pledge promising they would not seek premature government approval for any coronavirus vaccine.

"We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles," the statement read.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is one of three coronavirus vaccines in late-stage, Phase 3 trials in the US.

Regulators and companies alike have been working to ensure people trust in the vaccine authorization process.

Most groups working on the vaccine say that is extremely unlikely but Biontech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin told CNN earlier Tuesday he believes the vaccine his company is developing with Pfizer could be ready for regulatory approval by mid-October.

Dr. Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said it's technically possible that if a DSMB saw strong evidence a vaccine was working before a trial was completed, it could recommend a halt to the trial so more people could get the vaccine.

"One of the things that's had me on pins and needles the last four years is literally Trump could do this with any drug or device or vaccine anytime he wants to," said Califf, who was commissioner from January 2016 through January 2018.

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