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Discussions about early authorizations and reports about White House pressure to speed along a coronavirus vaccine have worried the public.

The latest reports that Drug giant AstraZeneca said Tuesday it had paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of unexplained illness in one of the volunteers is a real spanner in the works for risk appetite.

“As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow the review of safety data,” the company said in a statement sent to CNN.

“This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials,” the statement added.

“In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully. We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline. We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”  

Market implications

The company is testing its vaccine, called the Oxford vaccine which markets had high hopes for.

However, the hold up vs the concerns about moving too fast is a cocktail of contradictions which is concerning on both sides of the coin.

Earlier Tuesday, AstraZeneca joined eight other companies in signing a pledge promising they would not seek premature government approval for any coronavirus vaccine which could help to alleviate concerns to an extent. 

“We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles,” a statement read that was signed by the CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi.

“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved,” they added.

Nevertheless, with the stock market in a rout and risk assets struggling, this vaccine news is another problematic area for markets to recover from.