The University of Oxford has halted a small UK trial investigating the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in children and adolescents as it waits for more evidence on unusual blood clotting problems in adults who got the injection.
The cancellation of the trial is the latest setback for the vaccine, which was once hailed as a game-changer in the battle against the pandemic after many countries banned its use following reports of medical problems following vaccinations.
Oxford University reported that there were no safety issues in the pediatric study, but that it would wait for guidance from the UK drugs watchdog before prescribing any additional vaccinations.
In February, the university announced that 300 UK-based volunteers aged six to seventeen will be enrolled in the report.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently investigating evidence of an extremely unusual brain blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) following AstraZeneca shots, and is expected to release its findings this week.
Although the exact cause of the clots is still unclear, a senior EMA official has confirmed that there is a strong connection between the vaccine and CVST.
The World Health Organisation, which, together with other regulators, is closely reviewing the latest data on AstraZeneca’s vaccine, expects no need to alter its finding that the shot’s benefits outweigh any risks.
For months, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has been embroiled in disputes with governments across Europe over manufacturing, stocks, potential side effects, and the vaccine’s efficacy.
Even if AstraZeneca’s vaccine receives regulatory approval, top US infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said last week that the US does not need it.
Source: ABC World News