CAPE TOWN – The coronavirus vaccine trial, which caused severe inflammation of the spinal cord to a participant, has resumed in South Africa.
AstraZeneca, which is running the global trial of the vaccine it is producing with Oxford University, halted operations in several countries after the serious side effects caused by the drug.
According to Reuters, the resumption of the tests in South Africa was confirmed by director of affordable medicines in the health department, Khadija Jamaloodien. There are about 2 000 volunteers taking part in the trial in the country, the first one was enrolled on June 24.
Tests have also resumed in the UK and Brazil while in the United States they remain on hold pending an investigation launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The highest levels of NIH are very concerned. Everyone’s hopes are on a vaccine, and if you have a major complication the whole thing could get derailed,” said Dr. Avindra Nath, intramural clinical director and a leader of viral research at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an NIH division.
The british drugmaker AstraZeneca, said the trial volunteer has now recovered from a severe inflammation of the spinal cord and is no longer hospitalized.
The vaccine candidate, known as AZD1222 has been a front runner among potential candidates, with Europe already set to receive 400 million doses by the end of the year.
Although the test trials are phase 3 in the UK and the US, South Africa is in a merged phase 1 and 2 trial. The country is also currently recruiting participants for a phase 2 vaccine trial of the pharmaceutical company, Novavax.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor