Volunteer In Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Dies In Brazil, Trial To Continue: Officials

A volunteer in Brazil's clinical trial of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine has died. The organizers, however, said that the trial would continue.

Vaccines are probably one of the best ways to protect ourselves from the Covid-19 but there exist some chances that a vaccine may not suit everyone, or may have certain side-effects on people.

A volunteer in Brazil’s clinical trial of AstraZeneca’s experimental coronavirus vaccine has died. The organizers, however, said that the trial of the vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and produced by AstraZeneca would continue.

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca AZN.L and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue.

Oxford confirmed the plan to keep testing, saying in a statement that after careful assessment “there have been no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial.”

“Without details, it’s impossible to know what has happened in this case but as the trial is continuing, I think we can assume the circumstances of the death were such that it was clearly not vaccine-related,” Ian Jones, a professor of virology at the Britain’s University of Reading, said in a statement.

AstraZeneca declined to comment immediately.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, said an independent review committee had also recommended the trial continue. The university earlier confirmed the volunteer was Brazilian but gave no further personal details.

“Everything is proceeding as expected, without any record of serious vaccine-related complications involving any of the participating volunteers,” the Brazilian university said in a statement.

So far, 8,000 of the planned 10,000 volunteers in the trial have been recruited and given the first dose in six cities in Brazil, and many have already received the second shot, said a university spokesman.

CNN Brasil reported that the volunteer was a 28-year-old man who lived in Rio de Janeiro and died from Covid-19 complications. Anvisa provided no further details, citing the medical confidentiality of those involved in trials.

Brazil’s federal government has plans to purchase the UK vaccine and produce it at biomedical research center FioCruz in Rio de Janeiro, while a competing vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd SVA.O is being tested by Sao Paulo state’s research center Butantan Institute.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday the federal government will not buy the Sinovac vaccine.

Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, after the United States, with more than 154,000 killed. It has the third-largest number of cases, with more than 5.2 million infected, after the United States and India.

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