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Malta’s Promised COVID-19 Vaccine Resumes Trials One Week After Patient Falls Ill

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The AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine has resumed clinical trials following a safety review after a patient fell ill. 

The vaccine will continue inoculating patients and has been promised to Malta once approved as early as December. 

AstraZeneca moved into Phase Three of testing in recent weeks which included human trials of some 30,000 participants in the US, UK, Brazil and South Africa.

However, the trial was suspended on 13th September after a participant in the UK fell ill. 

It is believed that the patient developed a case of transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that has a known, but very rare, association with vaccination.

A rapid review conducted by the trial’s independent safety review committee and national regulators deemed that it was safe to resume Phase Three of the trial.

“In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety,” Oxford said in a statement.

Last month, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that Malta has been allocated a total of 330,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine, which will make it one of the first countries to protect its vulnerable and frontliners.

Fearne also noted that Malta will secure more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be made available for the rest of the population.

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