COVID-19 vaccine trial halted at UW Health

MADISON (WKOW) – The COVID-19 vaccine is undergoing testing at several locations, including UW Health, after a participant in the United Kingdom was stopped after experiencing a serious adverse reaction.

A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed 27 News that the test was conducted on Tuesday and would prevent new enrollment in the study.

The health news website State reported that the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was the cause of the reaction. The report did not specify the severity or rarity of the response.

The vaccine study at UW Health was in the third and final phase of testing before going to the Food and Drug Administration for approval.

In response, nine pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, issued a joint pledge to prioritize safety in their COVID-19 vaccines.

The pledge consisted of four points:

  • Always the safety and well-being of vaccinated persons is our top priority.
  • Continue to follow high scientific and ethical standards regarding the conduct of clinical trials and the rigor of manufacturing processes.
  • Submit to approval or emergency use authority only after demonstrating safety and efficacy through Phase 3 clinical studies that are designed and operated to meet the requirements of specialist regulatory authorities such as FDA.
  • Work to ensure adequate supply and range of vaccine options, including those suitable for global reach.

“We believe that this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and ultimately approved,” the companies wrote.

UW Health announced in late August that it had become one of the first sites in the country to begin testing the vaccine. At the time, the hospital said it would recruit 1,600 people, who would participate in the trail.

Those involved in the study had a one-in-three chance of receiving a placebo instead of a trial vaccine.