Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said on Tuesday it had “voluntarily paused” a randomized clinical trial of its Coronavirus vaccine in what it called a routine action after a volunteer suffered a “potentially unexplained illness”.
In a statement by the company, which is developing the drug alongside the University of Oxford, stated that “as part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford Coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.”
It added “this is 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.”
Speaking on the decision made by the company to pause the vaccine trial, Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it is a challenge but would not necessarily set back efforts to develop a vaccine.
The final clinical trials for a Coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was put on hold after a participant had a suspected adverse reaction in the United Kingdom.
Following successful phase 1 and 2 testing, the high-profile vaccine from AstraZeneca is seen as a strong contender among dozens being developed globally.
In recent weeks, its move to Phase 3 testing has involved some 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil, United States and South Africa.
However, a final decision on restarting the trial will be taken by the medical regulator, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which could take only days.
UN Chief Laments ‘Agonizing Milestone’ Of 1 Million COVID-19 Deaths
United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres has urged the world to learn from mistakes made in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic as the world records one million COVID-19 deaths.
The United States’ more than 200,000 fatalities, Brazil 142,000 and India more than 96,000 currently account for nearly half of the one million global numbers. Secretary-general, Guterres said the figure was mind-numbing. He called for respect for science in tackling the crisis.
Some experts believe the real number of fatalities could be significantly higher, as testing rates in many countries remain low, meaning that deaths related to covid-19 may not have been properly recorded. The Johns Hopkins University in the US says, nearly 23 million people are known to have recovered from the virus in the nearly three and a half million cases worldwide.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says Africa has reported both the lowest number of covid-19 cases and deaths in the world. W.H.O. emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, says Africa has many lessons to teach the world about how to be resilient and creative.
Uganda: Sickle Cell Awareness Fundraising Campaign Launched
A sickle cell awareness fundraising campaign has been launched by Uganda’s ministry of health to create awareness about sickle cell disease and to provide free screening services to stakeholders.
The exercise is expected to help give specialized health care, to promote awareness and testing, and to provide tele-medicine services.
The campaign is a joint effort with CTI Africa Uganda sickle cell rescue foundation.
A study has shown a prevalence of sickle cell trait at a very high rate of more than thirteen percent. As a result, health authorities have called for premarital and newborn screening.
The ministry’s director-general for health services, Dr. Henry Nwebesa, says the ministry will strengthen partnerships and ensure every sickle cell child is able to live a quality life.
Sickle cell is a chronic illness that effects people from childhood and restricts them for participating in many activities that could affect their conditions.
Global COVID-19 Cases Top 33 Million As Death Toll Nears A Million
The world is about to cross the one million mark coronavirus deaths. 998,000 persons have been killed by the virus globally as confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpass 33 million. The infection situation has worsened in some countries.
The United States is worst hit with more than 7 million confirmed cases, and 205, 000 deaths.
India has struggled to stop an alarming surge in cases the past three months, more than six million cases have been reported there, with the number of deaths nearing 100,000. More than 95,500 patients have died in India so far.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Africa has reported both the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world. Fears that the pandemic might devastate the African continent have so far abated.
W.H.O. emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan said “certainly, the reported numbers and most importantly, the reported deaths from Africa are low, and they’re the lowest in the world. Dr Ryan said Africa has many lessons to teach the world about how to be resilient and creative.
Ryan credited humanitarian agencies, governments in Africa and community health workers across Africa for the protection of vulnerable populations, such as those living with HIV and refugees.
The global health body urged Africa to remain on guard.
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