AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on hold.
One of the leading COVID-19 vaccine trial has been paused to investigate a suspected serious adverse heath event in a study participant, health news website Stat News reported on Tuesday.
Stat News quoted an AstraZeneca spokesperson as saying in a statement that the "standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data."
"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 said it is possible the illness in one participant is not related to the trial, which was in phase 3. The participant is believed to be in the United Kingdom.
"In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully," the company said.
"We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline."
The AstraZeneca and Oxford University trial is one of two manufacturers in a deal with the Australian government to provide vaccines if they prove successful.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it expected 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the global frontrunner in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, early next year.
Victoria enlists contact tracing help from NSW.
Victoria has enlisted the support of NSW to boost its contact-tracing efforts, as Melbourne's fortnightly case average dives below 80.
Victorians are now fixated on the two-week case average, a key indicator for the government's "roadmap" out of the state's second wave of COVID-19.
The state health department confirmed metropolitan Melbourne's 14-day average has hit 78.6 despite new infections lifting slightly to 55 on Tuesday.
It means some Melbourne workplaces and schools are inching closer to reopening from September 28 if the average drops below 50.
Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman is predicting Victoria should be down to 20 cases a day in two weeks if current trends continue.
In the face of criticism from the prime minister, Premier Daniel Andrews said a team of officials would visit NSW later this week to look at that state's contact tracing system.
"NSW are dealing with very small numbers of cases," he told reporters.
"That's a different challenge to dealing with hundreds and thousands.
"They may have some insights into what we can expect to confront. Not right now, but in three weeks, four weeks, five weeks' time."