In disappointing news on the vaccine front, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it had “voluntarily paused” a randomized clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine in what it called a routine action after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
The company, which is developing the drug alongside the University of Oxford, is a frontrunner in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine. “As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow the review of safety data by an independent committee,” a spokesperson said.
“This 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.”
It added that in large trials, illnesses will sometimes happen by chance but must be reviewed independently. “We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the spokesperson added.
It was not immediately clear where the patient was, or the nature and severity of their illness. Holds during clinical trials are not uncommon, but this is thought to be the first time it has happened for a Covid-19 vaccine trial. AstraZeneca is one of nine companies currently in late-stage Phase 3 trials for their vaccine candidates. In the US, the company began enrolling 30,000 volunteers across dozens of sites on August 31.
The vaccine, called AZD1222, uses a weakened version of a common cold-causing adenovirus that has been engineered to code for the spike protein that the novel coronavirus uses to invade cells. After vaccination, this protein is produced inside the human body, which primes the immune system to attack the coronavirus if the person is later infected
Instagram Down: Giving 5xx Server Error
Update 19 Mar 2021 23:38 IST: Instagram and other apps are now working fine.
Instagram is currently facing downtime and users from all around the world are reporting Instagram Server Down on Twitter. Some users are also facing downtime on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Instagram app is showing “couldn’t refresh feed”. and the Instagram website is giving 5xx Server Error.
Earthquake in Nalanda, Patna – Bihar with 3.5 Magnitude
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was reported near Nalanda in Bihar on Monday night, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km northwest (NW) of Nalanda, Bihar, India, the agency said. The earthquake struck at 9:23 PM IST at a depth of 5 km from the surface. Tremors were also felt in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, Patna.
Uttarakhand Power Plant Damaged After The Glacier Burst
Uttarakhand: A glacial burst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Disaster response and management teams have been deployed to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations. Around 100 to 150 people may have been killed, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told news agency ANI. Authorities fear hundreds more may still be stuck. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Assam to campaign for Assembly polls, tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”
Disaster management teams have been mobilized and hundreds of ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) have been rushed for rescue operations.
SN Pradhan, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that teams from the relief force have been moved for search-and-rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand where a glacial burst has triggered an avalanche. “The glacial burst has taken out a bridge constructed by the Border Road Organisation. Also in the higher reaches, the Rishiganga hydel project also has been damaged,” he said.