Pascal Soriot CEO of AstraZeneca

By Muhaimin Olowoporoku, with agency report

Pascal Soriot, the CEO of AstraZeneca has said the company should know before the end 2020 whether its experimental vaccine would protect people from COVID-19.

However, this will happen if the company is allowed to resume the paused trials.

The company, which is working with Oxford University researchers, had to stop the late stage trial after a participant in Britain fell ill.

The participant is reportedly suffering from neurological symptoms associated with a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

News about the pause in the vaccine trial came as a setback in finding a cure for COVID-19.

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AstraZeneca’s vaccine was flagged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most promising in combating coronavirus.

However, speculations the pause in trial of the vaccine is a setback was been played down by Soriot. He said it is common trials get suspended. He explained the only difference now is that the world is watching.

The CEO said AstraZeneca did not know the diagnosis for the volunteer in the trial. He added that it was not clear if they had transverse myelitis and more tests were needed.

Soriot said the diagnosis would be submitted to an independent safety committee and this would usually then tell the company whether trials can be resumed.