Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials resume after patient fell ill

12 September 2020, 14:31 | Updated: 12 September 2020, 18:33

The Oxford university vaccine trial have resumed
The Oxford University vaccine trial has resumed. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Oxford University and AstraZeneca are resuming their mass coronavirus vaccine trial in the UK after a review concluded following a week long pause over safety concerns.

AstraZeneca issued a statement on Tuesday night saying the late-stage studies of the vaccine had been paused while the company investigated whether a patient's reported side effects were connected to the vaccine.

But Oxford University today said an independent review process involving the UK medical regulator has concluded and trials will recommence.

Medical information about the individual who fell ill on Sunday is not being released.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the restart, saying: "Good news for everyone the Oxford vaccine trials are back up and running.

"This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible."

However the University said: “In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”

“We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our studies and will continue to monitor safety closely,” they added.

Globally around 18,000 people have received jabs of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine as part of its final-stage trial.

Speaking on Monday, on LBC’s new phone-in Call the Cabinet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government has secured 30 million doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca.

"They are starting to manufacture those doses already ahead of approval so that should approval come through, and it's still not certain, but it is looking up...then we're ready to roll out," he said.

Mr Hancock continued that the "best case scenario" is the approval happens this year but he predicts it is "more likely" to happen early next year.

Two other vaccines are in large, final-stage tests in the United States, one made by Moderna Inc and the other by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech.