Pause in Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine trial has global knock-on effect

The vaccine candidate is being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Credit: PA

The trial of a Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University has been halted in India after the UK paused its own studies earlier this week.

The pause in India's trial comes after the US, Brazil and South Africa also stopped their studies.

The vaccine candidate is being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. In India, the trial is being conducted by the Serum Institute of India.

On Tuesday, AstraZeneca said the vaccine trial would stop, as a precautionary measure, after a patient in the UK reported a side effect.

As a result, India’s official drug regulator issued a notice to the Serum Institute of India to pause its trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

"We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till Astrazeneca restarts them," the Serum Institute of India tweeted on Thursday.

Just the day before, the company said it had not faced any issues in its trials so far and that it would continue its studies.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials at more than 60 locations in the US, Brazil and South Africa, has been cleared for combined Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials in India.

Phase 3 of the human trial was scheduled to begin next week upon 1,600 volunteers across 20 sites in India.

The trials in India began last month and about 100 participants have received the dose.