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URMC resuming clinical trial of potential COVID-19 vaccine

University of Rochester Medical Center
URMC says it's working to restore access to 2.6 million files that are inaccessible after an IT mishap.

The University of Rochester Medical Center will resume the clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine after it was halted in early September.

The trial of the vaccine, developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, was stopped after one British participant developed severe neurological symptoms consistent with a rare inflammation of the spinal cord.

Recently, the drug maker got the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to restart tests in the U.S.

URMC is part of the vaccine's phase 3 clinical trials and signed up 17 people before the trials were temporarily halted, according to Dr. Ann Falsey, an infectious diseases expert who is helping lead the vaccine trials at URMC.

Falsey said they’re hoping to eventually get about 1,000 people locally to be part of the study, and has confidence in the safety protocols for the trial.

“I think the thing to remember is both the FDA and a completely independent data safety monitoring board have reviewed every piece of data from all the Oxford studies all around the world and have concludes that it’s safe to proceed,” Falsey said.

As far as when the U.S. might see a coronavirus vaccine for general use, Falsey thinks it could start to be rolled out early next year.

"I’m hopeful for March or April of next year," Falsey said. "I think we’ll get data (in) November (or) December of this year and that it will start to be rolled out. But as far as being able to go to your local CVS and get your vaccine, I do think that’s going to take a few months."

Falsey added that there are several potentially good COVID-19 vaccines now under development.

You can get more information about taking part in the URMC vaccine trial at:  or calling (585) 276-5212. 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.