Promising Tests For Covid-19 Vaccine Halted


Katherine Blanco

As trials for a Covid-19 vaccine are ongoing, scientists are testing on humans to make sure their samples are safe. Unfortunately, a patient who has fallen ill as a result has caused a halt in some testing.

Patrick Heydasch, Staff Writer

For months, COVID-19 has been a permanent subject on news stations. Scientists have been desperately searching for a way to defuse the increasingly chaotic situation through the means of developing a vaccine. At this point, multiple vaccines have been created as an attempt to combat the virus. Oxford University has been the most successful with their vaccine known as AZD1222. However, in the second to final phase, a participant has fallen ill, leading to the unfortunate halt in testing.

Vaccine AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, has recently been put on pause after a patient’s detrimental reaction. Oxford explains the halt on trials as “routine,” claiming that it shows researchers are showing safety priorities in creating the vaccine. The United Kingdom trial participant was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of both sides of one section of the spinal cord,but the participant is expected to recover fully. Transverse myelitis causes weakness of the limbs, which can become severe in as little as a day; this disease cannot be spread to others.

“Sadly, since this situation is so dire, many situations are being sped up. This is one of those situations in which something goes wrong due to that. We can expect this to happen multiple times due to this situation,” sophomore Edglhys Lopez said

Other countries, such as Russia, have also been racing to develop any sort of treatment or prevention. In August, Vladimir Putin announced the vaccine “Sputnik V.” The vaccine was tested on forty volunteers and produced enough antibodies to fight the virus effectively. Putin’s daughter has already been vaccinated with Sputnik V, saying “she feels well.” However, a teachers union in Moscow say they do not want to take the vaccine, as they believe it is currently unsafe and oppose the vaccine’s mandatory status. Citizens in Russia fear as well they will be forced to take the possibly unsafe vaccine. To add on, no scientific data has been published on Sputnik V. Still, Putin announces the vaccine as a “very important step for our country and the world.”

“I would need to see more evidence over a longer period of time to believe the claim that it is a perfectly working vaccine. I am not trying to discredit Putin or Russia, but they are not the people you would expect to have developed a perfectly working vaccine,” sophomore Nathaniel Leiva said.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial will most likely resume in a few days. The full trial is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, and robust distribution by late 2021. The United States has already secured three hundred million doses, which will be delivered to the eldery and frontline workers first. Yet, that does not stop approximately two-thirds of Americans from saying they will not be getting the vaccine according to a USA TODAY poll done last week. Many are fearful of potential side effects, despite the fact that scientists are doing everything possible to make the vaccine safe for all. The United States has also pledged $1.2 billion towards the creation of the vaccine.

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