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AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial stalls following patient reaction

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trail has been put on hold due to a patient reaction. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joins the On the Move panel to discuss.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Well, we are also watching and talking about AstraZeneca. Those shares right now are down just about a third of 1%, but they have been down much more earlier in the session. The company has halted its late stage trial for coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in a patient in the study. But there are a lot of developments on this. And there's one report that we might see a resumption of that study in fairly short time. Anjalee Khemlani is tracking this for us. So, explain this to us and what we know about what is happening.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Sure, so what we're looking at right now is AstraZeneca identifying that there was some sort of concerning illness in one of the participants. It's unclear whether or not that is from the vaccine itself or just something unrelated. And this is in the phase 3 trials occurring in the UK. And so that's significant for the US, because of course they started their phase three trial here a little bit later. But they have to notify all trial sites of this occurrence and then investigate it.

And so, while it's not really unexpected, this is the type of thing that people have been concerned about, experts have been concerned about, when it comes to the safety of these vaccines that are being tested. So right now, that's what's going on. "Financial Times" has reported that we could see the resumption of that trial next week, as early as next week. But once again, the company has to thoroughly investigate what that issue was before they go forward.

We don't know many details about what the concerning event was. We know that the National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins did mention in a Senate hearing just now that it was a spinal cord issue. So what the issue specifically is still unclear.

JULIE HYMAN: Anjalee, thank you very much. Appreciate it.