AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trials determined safe to resume in U.K.


AstraZeneca announced Saturday that it received confirmation from the United Kingdom's Medicines Health Regulatory Authority that it was safe to resume clinical trials for the company's coronavirus vaccine in the U.K. after they were paused over safety concerns earlier this week. The statuses of trials elsewhere remain unclear, CNBC reports.

The vaccine candidate, which was developed in partnership between AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, is considered one of the world's most promising, but phase three of its trials was temporarily halted after a woman in the U.K. reportedly displayed neurological symptoms consistent with a spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis after receiving the vaccine.

AstraZeneca isn't authorized to provide further medical information so the company statement didn't explicitly say whether the woman's illness was found to be unrelated to the vaccine, but Oxford said that during a large trial (18,000 people have received the vaccination so far) "it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety." Similarly, the World Health Organization's Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said earlier this week that "these things happen" and there's no reason to be "overly discouraged" by the pause since "there are ups and downs in research." Read more at CNBC.