Covid vaccine trial suspended

The pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca has suspended a clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine after one of the participants came down with an unexplained illness. An independent party is investigating whether the illness is related to the serum, the company reported. Europe's commentators see this cautious approach as a good sign rather than a disappointment.

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

At least science calls the shots here

El Periódico de Catalunya finds it reassuring that the test phase has been interrupted:

“The willingness to resolve any doubts before continuing the tests and the commitment of the major pharmaceutical companies not to seek authorisation for products until they meet the highest medical and ethical standards should reassure us about the safety of this vaccine once it becomes available. And also put into perspective people's confidence in alleged solutions in which, be they from Russia, China or the US, political pressure seems to carry more weight than scientific rigour.”

Dnevnik (BG) /

Side effects are inevitable

Columnist Maria Spirova, who was also a participant in the study, sees no cause for pessimism in Dnevnik:

“Whether the illness is directly related to the vaccine will be determined by independent experts who don't work for either the pharmaceutical company or the university laboratory. … We still don't know exactly what happened, or whether it was caused by the vaccine. Of course most vaccines cause a number of side effects. However, at this point in time we have no proof, and it's impossible to judge whether this case is serious enough to stop development of the vaccine.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Don't rejoice too soon!

Tests for a vaccine are in full swing around the world, but they've had no success until today, Corriere del Ticino reminds readers:

“In recent weeks feverish research has often gone hand in hand with geopolitical manoeuvring. Some world powers have announced that they're just a step away from the magic formula - or that they've already found it. And then they've had to backtrack and work closely with the pharmaceutical companies again in the hope of being the first across the finish line. The fact is that to this day we can only speak of 'virtual vaccines' because no one has yet found a safe medical solution.”