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AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot testifies before the Senate Finance Committee in February 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told investors that the company's coronavirus vaccine trial participant who experienced an adverse reaction had serious neurological symptoms consistent with a rare spinal disorder, Stat News reports.

Why it matters: The company is one of the front-runners in the global race for a coronavirus vaccine, but the development forced it to follow standard procedure by halting its late-stage trial.

What's new: The participant was a woman from the United Kingdom who will likely be able to leave the hospital by Wednesday, Soriot reportedly told investors on a private conference call.

  • He added that her condition is improving, though no diagnosis has yet been confirmed.
  • He said that the board overseeing the clinical trial confirmed that the participant received a coronavirus vaccine and not a placebo.

Worth noting: Stat also reported that Soriot told investors the company's trial had briefly been halted in July after another patient experienced neurological symptoms, though that participant was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that was deemed unrelated to the trial.

Go deeper

Dec 17, 2020 - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday recommended the approval of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in a 20-0 vote with one abstention.

Why it matters: This clears the way for the FDA to give the vaccine emergency authorization as soon as Friday, per the New York Times. The backing gives a boost to efforts to ramp up the country's immunization campaign.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dec 18, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court denies religious school challenge to Kentucky's COVID-19 restrictions

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (right). Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to block Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order halting in-person instruction at most K-12 schools, including religious schools, through the end of the year, noting that the order "effectively expires this week or shortly thereafter."

Why it matters: The decision follows several cases that examined whether state coronavirus restrictions affecting religious institutions, including places of worship violate, the First Amendment.