The University of Oxford said there were “ no safety concerns ” in the trial, but will wait for more data before restarting.
The University of Oxford said on Tuesday it had suspended a small trial in the UK testing the COVID-19 vaccine developed with AstraZeneca in children and adolescents, pending more data on the rare problems of blood clotting in adults who have received the vaccine.
The university, which helped develop the besieged vaccine, said in a statement that there were “no safety concerns” in the trial, but acknowledged fears about a potential link to clots in saying she was waiting for additional data from the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulation (MHRA) before restarting the study.
“Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled tours and can contact trial sites if they have any questions,” he added.
It’s the latest drama to hit AstraZeneca, which has been embroiled in controversy over its inability to deliver promised doses to the European Union, and the jab’s efficacy and safety profile.
The MHRA is one of many organizations around the world analyzing real-world data from the AstraZeneca deployment to see if there is a definitive link between jab and a rare form of blood clot, after cases have been reported. initially reported in Norway and mainland Europe.
The MHRA reported over the weekend that there had been 30 cases of blood clotting, seven fatalities, out of the 18 million doses administered in Britain.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday it “has yet to come to a conclusion and the review is currently underway.”
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides later said the agency was due to make its decision “Wednesday evening”, adding that she was in “close contact” with the EMA.
Germany and France have both restricted the use of the vaccine to older people over concerns that younger recipients are potentially at higher risk of clots.
“ The benefits outweigh the risks ”
Britain and the developers of the vaccine have so far resisted any restrictions on use, saying there was no evidence of a link.
Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics at the British University of Bristol, said the benefits continued to outweigh the risks.
“We need to know more about those affected and we need to understand exactly how the diseases came about,” he said.
“If you are currently offered a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, your chances of staying alive and healthy will increase if you take the vaccine and decrease if you don’t,” he added.
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday there was no reason to change its assessment that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 outweighed the risks.
Discussions with governments across Europe over the vaccine’s production, supplies, possible side effects and merits have plagued the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker for months.