Oxford-AstraZeneca trial dosing on children, teenagers paused

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine only offers limited protection against the variant first discovered in South Africa, new data suggests. /AP
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. /AP

A trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on children and teenagers has been paused pending further information about rare blood-clotting issues in adults who have received it.

An Oxford spokesman speaking to the Wall Street Journal said that no safety issues have arisen in the trial itself, but broader concerns about rare clotting problems in adults have triggered further regulatory reviews in the U.K. and Europe to investigate any potential link with the vaccine.

The trial, which started in February, is assessing whether the jab produces a strong immune response in children aged between six and 17.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and UK’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), are expected to give an update on its findings on Wednesday or Thursday.

The EMA’s safety committee has been reviewing very rare cases of unusual blood clots in people vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

It said that the committee had “not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing”.

The World Health Organization said that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 outweigh any risk and that there was no evidence that the risk-benefit analysis had shifted on the jab.

(With input from agencies)

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