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AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine clinical trials resume in U.K. after pause over safety concerns

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AstraZeneca’s building in Luton, Britain.

Tim Ireland | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Phase three trials for AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine have resumed in the U.K. after they were halted earlier this week over safety concerns, the company announced Saturday.

AstraZeneca said it received confirmation from the United Kingdom’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority that it was safe to resume clinical trials. The company declined to disclose medical information about the pause of the trial. 

The company said “the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause” to all global trials on Sep. 6 so that independent committees and internal regulators could review the safety data. While trials can now resume in the U.K., the status of trials elsewhere remains unclear. 

“The Company will continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday, Sep. 8, that its late-stage trials were paused for safety concerns. STAT News first reported the pause of the trials.

“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. In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully,” the company said at the time.

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