JOHANNESBURG: AstraZeneca has resumed COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa, more than a week after tests were paused due to serious side effects in a participant in Britain, an official at the country’s Department of Health told Reuters on Tuesday.
The move confirmed to Reuters by the director of affordable medicines in the health department, Khadija Jamaloodien, comes after the British drugmaker on Saturday got the go-ahead to restart trials in the UK, prompting Brazil to follow suit.
Tests remain on hold in the United States pending an investigation and the Serum Institute of India said it would restart its trials once it had permission from the Drugs Controller General of India.
About AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate AZD1222
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, now known as AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group.
It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold (adenovirus) virus that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body.
The recombinant adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) was chosen to generate a strong immune response from a single dose and it is not replicating, so cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual.
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