NIH director addresses clinical hold on AstraZeneca vaccine

FILE – This July 18, 2020, file photo, shows the AstraZeneca offices in Cambridge, England. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

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UPDATED 1:00 PM PT – Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The director of the National Institutes of Health recently addressed the reasons behind AstraZeneca’s clinical hold on its coronavirus vaccine. During a Senate hearing this week, Dr. Francis Collins confirmed one person experienced an adverse reaction during trials.

He added placing a clinical hold on the vaccine shows scientists are operating with an abundance of caution.

According to Dr. Collins, this is not an unusual move, especially during a pandemic.

“To have a clinical hold, as has been placed on AstraZeneca as of yesterday, because of a single serious, adverse event is not at all unprecedented. This certainly happens in any large scale trial where you have tens of thousands of people invested. Some of them may get ill. You always have to try to figure out is that because of the vaccine or are they going to get that illness anyway?”

– Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

He also said the reason there are investments in several vaccines is because there is an expectation they won’t all work.

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