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AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Under US Investigation Over Safety

October 1, 2020, 07.05 PM

WASHINGTON, – AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine study is under further investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after one participant experienced a serious illness.

The FDA body will assess data from earlier trials of similar coronavirus vaccines developed by the same scientists, three sources familiar with the details told Reuters.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trials in the US has been on hold since September 6 after a study participant in Britain fell ill with what was believed to be a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

Read also: Clinical Trials of a Coronavirus Vaccine Back on Track

The widened scope of the FDA probe raises the likelihood of additional delays for what has been one of the most advanced Covid-19 vaccine candidates in development.

The requested data was expected to arrive this week, after which the FDA would need time to analyze it, two of the sources said.

Effective vaccines are seen as essential to help end a pandemic that has killed more than one million people worldwide.

The administration of President Donald Trump has pledged $1.2 billion to support the development of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine and secure 300 million doses for the United States.

Read also: AstraZeneca Boosts Coronavirus Vaccine Supply with New Deal

Other leading companies in the US vaccine race include Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson.

Regulators in the UK, Brazil, India and South Africa have allowed AstraZeneca to resume its clinical trials there.

The FDA, however, wants to determine whether similar side effects emerged in trials of other vaccines designed by AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine partner, researchers at Oxford University, the sources said.

Read also: Indonesia to Make $223.6 Million Down Payment for Covid-19 Vaccine

That does not mean the agency believes there were safety issues associated with any of these vaccines, they added.

"It just shows that the FDA is being thorough," said one of the sources.


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