Calling it a "wake-up call" of sorts, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist with the World Health Organisation, said the development was "perhaps a lesson for everyone to recognise the fact that there are ups and downs in research, ups and downs in clinical development and we have to be prepared for those".
Days later, the company resumed human testing of the vaccine candidate in the UK.
SII has also partnered with five worldwide pharmaceutical companies, including AAstraZeneca and Novavax, to develop a secure vaccine for the same and has pledged to produce 1 billion doses, promising 50 per cent for India.
While AZ and Oxford have been highlighted as race leaders, so too are Pfizer and BioNTech, who said they now want to boost their phase 2/3 trial for one of their five mRNA vaccines, BNT162b2, from around 30,000 to 44,000. In July, the US government announced it would pay the companies $1.95 billion to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their vaccine if it proves safe and effective.
On 8 September, nine drug companies, including Pfizer, released a joint statement to calm public fears over a vaccine being approved before being adequately tested. "But that will not break the company, although it's going to be painful, '" he said.
Pfizer is one of three companies now in late-stage testing for a vaccine. It is also reported that the clinical trial has been paused in other countries such as the United States, Britain, Brazil, and South Africa.
Larger studies of the Imperial and Oxford vaccine are already under way, but this study aims to see if the vaccines might be more effective if they are inhaled.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca study had previously been stopped in July for several days after a participant developed neurological symptoms that turned out to be an undiagnosed case of multiple sclerosis that researchers said was unrelated to the vaccine.
It is estimated that two doses of vaccine are required for an individual to acquire immunity to the virus.
She added that the evaluation was carried out for emergency use, taking into account the target groups, product characteristics, preclinical and clinical study data, population study and all relevant available scientific evidence, stressing that the health authorities, in coordination with the vaccine's developers, followed all measures to control the quality, safety and effectiveness of the program, from manufacturing to the vaccination system.
The coronavirus vaccine story so far.