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AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Suspended

AstraZeneca Plc paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates after an unexplained illness in a study participant. The study is testing a vaccine being developed by the drug manufacturer and University of Oxford researchers at various sites, including Britain, where the illness was reported. The nature of the case and when it happened were not detailed, although the participant is expected to recover, as the trial was halted due to a “suspected serious adverse reaction.” Hopes have been high that the vaccine might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase 1 and 2 testing. The suspension has impacted other AstraZeneca vaccine trials - as well as clinical trials being conducted by other vaccine makers, which are looking for signs of similar reactions. The outcome of these trials is being closely watched around the world. Meanwhile, nine U.S. and European vaccine developers pledged to uphold scientific safety and efficacy standards for their experimental vaccines despite the urgency to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The companies, including AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Moderna, NovavaxInc, Pfizer and Sanofi issued what they called a “historic pledge” after a rise in concern that safety standards might slip in the face of political pressure to rush out a vaccine.