08:26 GMT24 September 2020
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    AstraZeneca announced on Tuesday that trials of its vaccine are being halted due to an "unexplained illness" in a participant from the United Kingdom. Late-stage trials of the vaccines are being carried out in various countries, including India, US, South Africa, UK and Brazil.

    The Serum Institute of India on Wednesday cleared the air on ongoing trials in India, saying that they are continuing the late-stage trials of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

    "India is continuing the trials of the vaccine and we have faced no issues at all here," Adar Poonawalla, CEO of India's largest vaccine manufacturer told Sputnik.

    He added that the reaction reported in the UK is not directly linked to the vaccine and the person having complications had an existing neurological condition.

    The Serum Institute of India, which is planning to manufacture 60-70 million doses of vaccine per month, said that the incident in the UK will have no impact on the Indian vaccine trial.

    “We can't comment much on the UK trials, but they have been paused for further review and they hope to restart soon,” underlined Poonawalla.

    On 8 September, AstraZeneca announced that it was suspending the trials of an anti-COVID-19 vaccine due to a participant developing an unexplained illness. 

    "We voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee. This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials," the company said.

    The Serum Institute of India, which has invested around $100 million in vaccine manufacturing and trials has signed a partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of COVID-19.


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