express– An Oxford University spokesperson has said the move was precautionary, stating that they have yet to uncover any health issues among the young people involved in the trial. The vaccine trial at Oxford University involved five-to-17-year-olds and had been running since February 2021. A Wall Street Journal report claims the University halted their trial and are now awaiting advice from the UK’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Dozens of people have developed a deadly blood clot in the brain after receiving the jab.
The links between blood clots and the vaccine are unproven, but the new trial has been halted until new tests can be carried out concerning the safety of the inoculation.
The news comes as Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccines at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said that blood clots in the brain, that can lead to a stroke, were occurring more often than expected in younger people after taking the vaccine.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, an AstraZeneca spokesman said the company was awaiting the outcomes of the UK’s regulatory reviews, and declined to comment further.
The pause is a major setback for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The inoculation has faced doubt over its efficacy and the potential side effects, such as blood clot fears.
This new setback comes as tens of millions of people have already received the jab in more than 70 countries.
Last week Germany suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the under-60s age bracket.
However, German medical regulators argued there was “no evidence” to support age-based restrictions.
The World Health Organization, WHO, has stated there is “no link for the moment” between the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.
Regulatory director at the WHO Rogerio Pinto de Sa Gaspar told a briefing today: “The appraisal that we have for the moment, and this is under consideration by the experts, is that the benefit-risk assessment for the vaccine is still largely positive.”
He added: “For the time being there is no evidence that the benefit-risk assessment for the vaccine needs to be changed.
“We know from the data coming from countries like the UK and others that the benefits are really important in terms of reduction of the mortality of populations that are being vaccinated.”
EU medicines regulators are attempting to discover the statistical risk of getting a blood clot after using an AstraZeneca vaccine.
Marco Cavaleri, vaccines head at the European Medicines Agency, told Italian newspaper Il Messaggero: “In the next few hours, we will say that there is a connection, but we still have to understand how this happens.
“Among the vaccinated, there are more cases of cerebral thrombosis among young people than we would expect.”