Child Trials of AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspended
A children’s trial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine has been halted by the University of Oxford amid concerns that the jab may cause blood clotting in adults.
The trial of the vaccine, which began in February involving over 200 children between the age of 6 and 17-years-old, was suspended on Tuesday following concerns raised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Professor Andrew Pollard of Oxford University said that though there have been no safety concerns found within the trial itself, the trial will be put on hold until regulators from the UK’s Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have reviewed the blood clotting issue.
“Whilst there are no safety concerns in the paediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the MHRA on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial,” Prof Pollard said.
The suspension of the trial came in the wake of the head of vaccines for the EMA, Marco Cavaleri saying of the link between the vaccine and blood clotting: “In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear there is an association with the vaccine. What causes this reaction, however, we still do not know.”
The European Medicines Agency, however, said that it had “not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing”, with the results of a review expected to be revealed this week.
Britain’s regulator, the MHRA said that people should continue to take the vaccine as the benefits currently outweigh the risk, despite an ongoing investigation into the death of seven people from the vaccine and 30 cases of clotting in the UK.
Reports have also suggested that the regulator is considering banning the use of the vaccine for younger people. Several European nations have already banned the use of the AstraZeneca jab for younger people, including France, Germany, and The Netherlands.