Oxford University has paused the clinical trials of its Coronavirus vaccine co-developed with AstraZeneca among children and teenagers due to safety concerns in adults who received the vaccine.
In a statement, Oxford University clarified that the step has been taken as a precautionary measure and no safety concerns were recorded among children and teenagers during the clinical trials in the UK.
Oxford University added that it is now awaiting additional data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), UK’s apex healthcare regulator, regarding a rare blood clotting disorder experienced by some adults who received the vaccine.
Earlier this year in February, Oxford University had started the small-scale, single-blind, and randomized clinical trials after enrolling 240 participants aged 6 to 17.
The latest development comes as more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus vaccine as a precautionary measure after a number of people suffered blood clots and brain hemorrhages after receiving the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continue to hold separate investigations into the cases of blood clots resulting from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite the ongoing investigations, all these organizations have reiterated that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks.