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World News

WHO praises AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial pause

FILE PHOTO: An employee is seen at the Reference Center for Special Immunobiologicals (CRIE) of the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) where the trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine are conducted, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 24, 2020. Picture taken June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - A World Health Organization official on Tuesday said that the decision by AstraZeneca to pause global trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after an unexplained illness showed the firm was prioritising safety.

“This is what we want to see with trials, it is a well-run trial. Safety is always critical, it is crucial and they have looked at that in an appropriate manner,” Margaret Harris told journalists in Geneva.

Asked to react to experimental COVID-19 vaccine use in China and Russia, she said: “The WHO would like to see vaccines go head to head so we can have clear information and to see these results against each other.”

Reporting by Emma Farge, editing by Louise Heavens

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