One of the participants in the COVID-19 vaccine trial died: the study was not suspended
On Wednesday, October 21, Brazilian health authority Anvisa announced that a volunteer involved in a trial of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has died. An investigation into the exact cause of death is underway; vaccine trials have not yet been suspended. Details told the publication Fox News.
Local media reported that the deceased was a man from Rio de Janeiro, he was about 20 years old. It is not yet known whether the man was vaccinated or was part of the placebo group.
An anonymous source said that if the victim had been vaccinated, the research would have been suspended.
A spokesman for AstraZeneca said the company was unable to comment on individual cases in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trial due to regulations. However, he stressed that the company has completed all the necessary verification procedures.
“All significant medical events are carefully assessed by trial researchers, an independent safety monitoring committee and regulatory bodies,” the spokesman said. "These assessments have raised no concerns about continuing the current study."
In the U.S. clinical trials of AstraZeneca are suspended pending investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to a "possible serious adverse event" in one of the volunteers. The head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, told reporters that he was not aware of any plans to reopen the trials as the case is still pending with the FDA.
In June, Brazil announced a deal to buy 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine if it is found to be safe and effective. At the time, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who had recovered from COVID-19 himself, said the money was meant to be invested in research and purchase of a "batch of vaccines."
The country ranks second in the world in the number of deaths associated with coronavirus, and the third in the number of infected (more than 5,3 million cases).
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