- 18 Oct 2020
After facing an uncharted hiccup in the Phase 3 studies of Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and trials put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction of a participant in the United Kingdom, the trials have now resumed. On the other hand, the development and subsequent success of India’s Covaxin in the animal trials might help to assuage the concerns of many.
The multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England, paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine following the detection of an unexplained illness in one of the participants' body which may or may not be related to the vaccine. The trials have been held in abeyance pending further investigation by an independent committee. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, testifying at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, said such an action was “not at all unprecedented.”
Image Source : AirInfinity, AstraZenca ahead in the race of all vaccines for COVID-19
The world was plunged into utter despair following the ominous and unprecedented announcement. However, the encouraging result of Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin emboldened us to breathe again as it has shown positive reaction in the animal trial.
But why was AstraZeneca, one of the most accountable and promising vaccines put on hold?
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, described this disease as transverse myelitis though AstraZeneca has claimed that there is no final diagnosis and the disease is still being checked and more tests are carried out. Transverse myelitis is a rare inflammation of the spinal cord that can be caused by viral infections and has only rarely been associated with vaccinations. There are about 1,400 cases in the United States each year. Symptoms include pain, sensory problems, weakness in the legs and possibly the arms, and bladder and bowel problems, according to an NIH website.
However, researchers are still not sure if the adverse event is tied to the vaccine and hence strongly abhors unnecessary fulmination against the vaccine. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have said the decision to pause was the result of a standard review of the data, and the incident will be probed by an independent committee of experts.
AstraZenca shares have gained after trials were announced to resume in UK
Most likely, the trials will resume today in the United Kingdom if no further negative effects are detected. The company has however given no information on the present medical condition of the patient and details on the side effect. Trials in US and other countries remain on hold as of now. Serum Institute of India has categorically said that they have faced no difficulty in their trials so far and all is well here, yet they have paused trials and wait for further nod from DCGI.
We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till @AstraZeneca restarts them. We are following DCGI's instructions and will not be able to comment further on the same. You can connect with DCGI for more updates on this front.#SII #Latestnews #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/CUeFY5oLus— SerumInstituteIndia (@SerumInstIndia) September 10, 2020
Bharat Biotech proudly announces the animal study results of COVAXIN™ - These results demonstrate the protective efficacy in a live viral challenge model.— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) September 11, 2020
Read more about the results here - https://t.co/f81JUSfWpD@icmr_niv #BharatBiotech #COVAXIN #Safety #Vaccine #SARSCoV2 pic.twitter.com/fva1SOcLOr