Coronavirus latest news: Oxford vaccine trial on hold over adverse reaction

Australia is not concerned that a Covid-19 vaccine trial has been put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction, its deputy chief medical officer said on Wednesday.

AstraZeneca has paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading vaccine candidates after an adverse reaction in a study participant.

“With the information that I have got at the moment, I am not worried about it,” Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth told Sky News, adding the hold on trials does not mean the vaccine “is off the table”.

“In some respects, this is a very positive thing because it shows that despite the accelerated vaccine development, safety is the priority of the clinical trialists and investigators.”

Dr Coatsworth said Australia, like many other governments, had invested in several coronavirus vaccine candidates, “knowing not all of them will get through”.

Australia on Monday said it would get the first doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in January 2021 if trials proved successful after reaching a preliminary deal in August.