US Disease Expert Fauci Says Halt of Coronavirus Trial a ‘Safety Valve’ at Work 

America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s suspension of final global trials of its COVID-19 experimental vaccine points to the effectiveness of the safeguards that have been incorporated into the trials.“It’s important to point out that that’s the reason why you have various phases of trials, to determine if, in fact, these candidates are safe,” Fauci said in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”“It’s really one of the safety valves you have on clinical trials such as this.”The British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant paused the trials because a volunteer participant became ill after receiving the experimental drug.“It’s unfortunate that it happened, and hopefully they’ll be able to proceed along with the remainder of the trial,” Fauci said. “But you don’t know. They need to investigate it further.”The company issued a statement Tuesday saying the pause in testing is a “routine action, which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.”AstraZeneca developed the vaccine, AZD1222, in cooperation with Britain’s University of Oxford. The vaccine is being tested in large-scale Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials in several nations, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, South Africa and India. AZD1222 is one of three COVID-19 vaccines in late-stage Phase 3 trials in the United States.Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
People queue to take a COVID-19 test at a walk-in test facility in Bolton, Britain, Sept. 7, 2020.The pandemic also continues to affect ordinary activities around the globe. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to issue an order Wednesday limiting the number of people taking part in most social gatherings to six, from the current 30.The new limit, would take effect next week, as Britain is enduring a surge of nearly 3,000 new daily COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, the highest daily figure since May.And officials in Los Angeles County, California, have issued an order banning most Halloween activities, traditionally observed on Oct. 31. The banned activities include the traditional door-to-door “trick-or-treating,” when costume-clad children knock on doors to receive candy, and “trunk-or-treating,” a similar activity involving going from car to car. Indoor and outdoor events, including carnivals, festivals and “haunted houses” are also prohibited.Los Angeles County officials said nearly 250,000 coronavirus cases had been recorded there, and 6,036 people died from the disease since the start of the pandemic.


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