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Fauci: AstraZeneca pause in vaccine production 'not uncommon'

Fauci: AstraZeneca pause in vaccine production 'not uncommon'
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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: CDC director calls on Michigan to 'close things down' amid surge in cases | Regeneron says antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 infections Fauci says some 'breakthrough' infections after vaccinations 'inevitable' Rand Paul calls Fauci a 'petty tyrant' MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s pause in its vaccine clinical trial due to a “potentially unexplained illness” is “not uncommon.”

Fauci told “CBS This Morning” that the halting of one of the leading coronavirus vaccine clinical trials is “not uncommon,” noting the documented reaction to the vaccine is why trials are conducted. 

“It’s not uncommon at all,” the director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said. “We see this generally for the most part ... it's an adverse event that’s related to something else that just happened to have occurred during the period of time that the clinical trial is on.”

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But Fauci emphasized that researchers cannot assume the reaction is separate from the tested vaccine or treatment.

“You always make the presumption that it’s due directly to the actual vaccine or therapeutic or whatever it is that’s in the clinical trial,” he said.

The public health expert said other AstraZeneca vaccine testing sites are alerted to look out for similar reactions and expressed hope that the researchers “work it out” and investigate the situation more. 

Fauci’s comments come a day after AstraZeneca announced it was examining the illness in one of the trial participants. It also comes as the world rushes to complete a coronavirus vaccine to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It is not clear how much a setback would impact vaccine production.

AstraZeneca is one of three companies that have begun the third phase of trial, while the other two companies are Pfizer and Moderna.