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To Get Back Going

The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson trials of candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that had been paused in the US may soon restart, Bloomberg reports.

AstraZeneca paused its SARS-CoV-2 candidate vaccine trial in September following a report that a trial participant in the UK experienced an adverse neurological reaction. While the trial resumed in the UK and other spots around the world, it has remained on hold in the US. Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, paused its trial earlier this month due to an unexplained illness among a participant. 

Now Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed in the US, says he expects those trials to resume shortly. "It's for the FDA to announce and decide but I understand that this is imminent," he tells Bloomberg. "I hope that the J&J trial also will restart later this week." 

Slaoui adds that there were two confirmed cases of transverse myelitis in the AstraZeneca trial, one affecting a participant who received the vaccine group and one who received the placebo. "If it turns out you can't demonstrate that it was associated, you restart the trial," he tells Bloomberg. "But you continue to pay attention very, very carefully to that kind of family of side effects."

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