Updated 09/01/2020 at 01:14
AstraZeneca Plc began a large-scale human trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the United States after a brief delay, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health who are helping conduct the tests.
The university, one of the sites for the 30,000-person trial, aims to begin injecting healthy volunteers on Tuesday, according to William Hartman, a UW Health anesthesiologist and trial investigator. They plan to increase to injecting 50 people a day shortly after the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday, he said in an interview.
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The vaccine AstraZeneca, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, is one of the most advanced of the experimental vaccines to combat the COVID-19 that are under investigation. In addition to the US trial, a final phase trial of the vaccine is underway in the UK and could return preliminary results next month. Other companies whose experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in phase 3 trials include Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.
An Aug. 27 article in the Palm Beach Post reported that the U.S. trial of the AstraZeneca it was suspended due to political pressure, perhaps because US regulators planned to grant an emergency use authorization based on the trial in Europe.
Hartman said he was told the suspension was due to unspecified operational problems.
“There was a suspension in registration. We really don’t know what the reason was. They told us it had nothing to do with security, that it was just an operational problemHartman said in a telephone interview. “Friday night, they lifted that suspension”.
An email shared with Bloomberg that Hartman received on August 28, AstraZeneca and the contract research organization Iqvia Holdings Inc. stated that the suspension “got up and we have our first patient selected and randomized”.
Americans must understand that “the budget has not been cutHartman said in a telephone interview. “We will proceed with the trial regardless of any political pressure”.