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AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced it has temporarily suspended global trials of a possible COVID-19 vaccine after one of the volunteers experienced a "potentially unexplained illness."
The pharmaceutical company is testing Oxford University's vaccine in the U.S., United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa. It is one of three potential coronavirus vaccines now in final Phase 3 trials in the U.S.
It is standard procedure for experimental vaccine trials to pause in order to determine if the vaccine is causing serious reactions in volunteers. AstraZeneca said in a statement that during large trials, "illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully. We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial time lines. We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials."
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Earlier in the day, AstraZeneca and eight other companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, signed a pledge promising not to push for early government approval of any coronavirus vaccine.
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