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Packing for AstraZeneca trial vaccines. Phot: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

AstraZeneca announced on Saturday it's resuming its COVID-19 vaccine trials after pausing earlier this week when a participant fell ill.

The state of play: A statement from AstraZeneca says the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority approved the company's vaccine trials through the University of Oxford to continue.

  • AstraZeneca added that it will "continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic."
  • The patient who was negatively impacted by the vaccine reportedly suffered a neurological reaction.
  • Statements from AstraZeneca and Oxford didn’t reveal anything about the status of tests beyond the U.K.

The big picture: A number of coronavirus vaccines are in phase 3 trials, but AstraZeneca remains a frontrunner. The company says it hopes to complete its vaccine by year's end.

Go deeper

Dec 20, 2020 - Health

CDC panel says adults over 75, essential workers should be next in line for vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Falmouth Health Centre on Dec. 20 in Falmouth, England. Photo: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images

Americans 75 and older along with roughly 30 million "frontline essential workers" should be next in line to get coronavirus vaccinations, a group of experts that make recommendations to the CDC voted on Sunday, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Adults over 75 are eight times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus. Essential workers are at an elevated risk for COVID-19 infections and are disproportionately people of color, who face higher mortality rates from the coronavirus than white people.

Dec 20, 2020 - Health

U.S. surgeon general: No evidence that U.K.'s new COVID-19 strain will affect vaccinations

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday there are "no indications" that a new strain of COVID-19, said to be identified in England, will slow U.S. vaccination efforts.

Driving the news: Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium have announced plans to restrict travel from the U.K. due to concerns over the new variant, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "may be up to 70% more transmissible" than the original version of the disease.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

America's "very dark winter" begins

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It's a fitting end to a crappy year: White House officials are calling us in a panic about President Trump’s erratic behavior. England is panicking about a possible super-spreading virus strain. And vaccine distribution is hitting bumps.

Why it matters: Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain was right when he warned of a "very, very, very dark winter."