Skip to main content
//empty //empty
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

A laboratory technician supervises capped vials during filling and packaging tests for the large-scale production of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, on Sept. 11, 2020 in Italy.

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after receiving the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday.

The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, developed with researchers from the University of Oxford, were suspended this week after an illness in a study subject in Britain, casting doubts on an early rollout.

“On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said.

Story continues below advertisement

It added that safety reviewers had recommended to Britain’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to resume the UK trials.

The patient involved in the study had been reportedly suffering from neurological symptoms associated with a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, said it could not disclose further medical information.

Governments around the world are desperate for a vaccine to help end the pandemic, which has caused more than 900,000 deaths and global economic turmoil. The World Health Organization (WHO) had flagged AstraZeneca’s as the most promising.

The pause of the trials came after reports that the United States was aiming for fast-track authorization or approval of a vaccine before November’s presidential election.

Leading U.S. and European vaccine developers have pledged to uphold scientific safety and efficacy standards for their experimental vaccines and not bow to political pressures to rush the process.

AstraZeneca has already agreed to supply close to three billion doses to governments across the globe – more than any other vaccine project.

Story continues below advertisement

The WHO’s chief scientist said the pause in the trial should serve as a “wake-up” call that there would be ups and downs in the development of a vaccine.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies