Dr. Anthony Fauci said the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trials will likely “cautiously continue” — despite the company pulling the breaks earlier this week after a participant mysteriously fell ill.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert stressed Wednesday that one participant out of the 30,000 experiencing a serious side effect doesn’t indicate that the vaccine might not be successful.
“If you see another two or three or four, then I think it’s going be a real problem for the trial but a single episode from a severe adverse event is important enough to cause a pause in a trial,” Fauci told Fox News correspondent John Roberts.
“But very likely they will now cautiously continue after they do the appropriate investigation.”
Fauci said the hiccup in the trial is unlikely to derail the race among multiple candidates for a cure for COVID-19.
“You’re talking about one particular candidate. I don’t think you can apply across the board the adverse event with one particular platform with the other six that are being essentially implemented in various stages of the trial,” Fauci said.
“You want to say ‘heads up’ with the others, but this doesn’t impune the others in any other way.”
More than 27 million people worldwide have contracted COVID-19, with more than 6 million of those cases being in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University data.