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This COVID-19 vaccine study was put on hold because someone suffered a major side effect

A participant in the UK was suspected of an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.

SHARE This COVID-19 vaccine study was put on hold because someone suffered a major side effect
A man gets a COVID-19 test in Utah.

A man gets a COVID-19 test at Pleasant Grove Recreation Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford halted their COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 study this week after there was a suspected adverse reaction to the vaccine in someone from the United Kingdom, per STAT News.

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said in a statement that the company’s “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.” 

  • The pause was “a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.” 
  • The company is “working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the spokesperson said.

AstraZeneca said in a separate statement that it decided to put the study on hold.

  • One unnamed source told STAT News that the reaction itself, and when it happened, were not known. But the participant was said to have recovered from the reaction.

A pledge of safety

AstraZeneca and eight other companies developing a COVID-19 vaccine signed a pledge to promise that they would not seek government approval for the vaccine if it wasn’t safe, CNN reports.

The companies said they would wait until they were sure the vaccine worked well.

  • “We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our ongoing commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles,” the companies said in a statement.