AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial suspended: Live news

Vinicius Molla, a haematologist and volunteer in the clinical trial of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, examines a patient in a consulting room in Sao Paulo, Brazil [File: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters]

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial suspended: Live news

Clinical trials of one of most promising candidate vaccines suspended after patient develops unexplained illness.


09 Sep 2020 05:22 GMT
  • AstraZeneca says it has suspended trials of the coronavirus vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford after one of the trials’ volunteers fell ill with an unexplained illness. 
  • The UN says the disruption to routine child and maternal health services as a result of the pandemic could put millions of lives at risk and undo years of progress in reducing child mortality.
  • More than 27.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 897,383 have died. More than 18.5 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, September 9

05:20 GMT – Czech Republic reports record daily cases

The Czech Republic has just reported 1,164 new cases of coronavirus.

That is the highest number it has reported in a single day and comes as countries around Europe battle a resurgence of the disease. 

05:05 GMT – India reports further surge in coronavirus cases


India’s health ministry has just released its daily coronavirus update.

It says it confirmed 89,706 new cases of coronavirus while 1,115 people died.

India has been reporting the world’s largest single-day increases in cases for a more than a month. Its death toll has also been rising by at least 1,000 a day for eight days straight.

04:30 GMT – WHO chief stresses need for testing, physical distancing

The World Health Organization’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has stressed again that governments can take concrete steps to tackle COVID-19 even before a vaccine becomes available.

Tedros was speaking by video to health ministers at the opening of the 73rd meeting of the WHO South-East Asia Regional Committee, which includes Indonesia, Thailand, Timor Leste, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.


03:45 GMT – Cathay Pacific to ship half its fleet to desert


Demand for international flights has collapsed along with the pandemic and border closures, and Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific is now studying plans to send as much as half its fleet to the Australian desert, according to the South China Morning Post.

Cathay has 180 passenger aircraft and said previously it would mothball about a third of them, but with little indication long-hail demand will recover it is planning to increase that number, the Post said.

The airline has already sent a number of planes for storage in Alice Springs.

03:05 GMT – Greece’s Moria refugee camp evacuated after fire

The Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos has been partially evacuated after a series of fires.

About 13,000 people live in the camp and are currently under a two-week quarantine after a case of coronavirus was confirmed on September 2.

Refugee support group Stand By Me Lesvos said on Twitter the entire camp was ablaze.

Greece Moria on fire
Fires at Greece’s overcrowded Moria camp, where a two week COVID-19 lockdown was imposed at the beginning of the month, have forced people to evacuate [Manolis Lagoutaris/AFP]

01:50 GMT – Biden accuses Trump of using vaccine as ‘political tool’


Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris have weighed in on the issue of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a joint statement they accused Republican rivals Donald Trump and Mike Pence of using the vaccine as a “political tool”.

“We see it as a product of science and research,” they said. “Its timing, approval, and distribution should be without regard to political calculation.”

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden waves as he arrives at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lama
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden has accused Trump of failing in his handling of the coronavirus and using a vaccine as a ‘political tool’ [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

01:20 GMT – South Korea cases below 200 for a week

South Korea has now managed to keep coronavirus cases below 200 for a week.

Numbers just in show the country reported 156 new cases on Wednesday as it deals with a wave of infections that began in the middle of last month and have been linked to a church and a right-wing political rally.

Conservative groups have planned another demonstration for early October, coinciding with the Chuseok festivities, one of the country’s biggest traditional holidays.

01:00 GMT – Pandemic threatens millions of children’s lives: UN

The United Nations says disruptions caused to health services because of the pandemic could reverse decades of progress in reducing child mortality and put millions of lives at risk worldwide.

New mortality estimates published by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group show deaths of under-fives fell to their lowest level on record in 2019. Last year around 5.2 million children died due to preventable illness, compared with 12.5 million in 1990. 

“The global community has come too far towards eliminating preventable child deaths to allow the pandemic to stop us in our tracks,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director. 

00:45 GMT – ‘Safety is the prority’: Reactions to AstraZeneca vaccine trial suspension

Lots of reactions have been coming in to the news that the phase three trials of AstraZeneca’s potential vaccine have been suspended.

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth says he is “not worried about it” and that the temporary halt does not mean the vaccine is “off the table”.

“In some respects this is a very positive thing because it shows that despite the accelerated vaccine development, safety is the priority of the clinical trialists and investigators,” Coatsworth told Sky News.

00:00 GMT – AstraZeneca vaccine trial suspended for safety review

AstraZeneca says it has “voluntarily paused” a clinical trial of the vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford after one of the volunteers developed an unexplained illness.

“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 review of safety data by an independent committee,” a spokesperson said in a statement. 

The vaccine has been seen as one of the most promising of those in development. You can read more on the suspension here.

UK coronavirus vaccine triggers immune response in trials

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) – Australia’s Victoria reports 76 new cases, 11 deaths

Victoria has reported 76 new cases of coronavirus and 11 deaths over the past 24 hours.

The state in southeastern Australia has imposed a strict lockdown and curfew in Melbourne to try and bring the disease under control.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur. 

Read all the updates from yesterday (September 8) here.


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