AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials halted at UW Health

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Health is halting their AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials on Tuesday after a suspected adverse reaction in the United Kingdom.

A spokesperson for UW Health sent an email with the announcement.

The first one to receive an injection in Madison is Dr. Jeff Pothof, the UW-Health Chief Quality Officer. He says that because his professional life has been consumed with COVID-19 over the past few months, he felt called to be part of the solution.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, the company said its “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.”

AstraZeneca didn’t reveal any information about the possible side effect except to call it “a potentially unexplained illness.” The news site STAT first reported the pause in testing, saying the possible side effect occurred in the United Kingdom.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson confirmed the pause in vaccinations covers studies in the U.S. and other countries. Late last month, AstraZeneca began recruiting 30,000 people in the U.S. for its largest study of the vaccine. It also is testing the vaccine, developed by Oxford University, in thousands of people in Britain, and in smaller studies in Brazil and South Africa.

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