Health

Volunteer in AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine trial dies in Brazil

BREAKING NEWS: Volunteer in AstraZeneca and Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine trial dies in Brazil

  • Anvisa, Brazil’s health authority, announced on Wednesday that a volunteer in AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine trial has died
  • The volunteer was Brazilian but not details are available about the person’s name, age, sex, race or where they lived
  • Health officials say testing of the vaccine will continue despite the volunteer’s death
  • It is unknown if the death was caused by the vaccine or due to an unrelated pre-existing condition 

A volunteer in the Brazilian arm of AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine trial has died.   

Brazilian health authority Anvisa stated on Wednesday that it had just received information from an investigation into the death.

The Federal University of São Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase III clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian. 

However, no details are available about the person’s name, age, sex and race or where they lived in the country.

It is unknown if the death was caused by the vaccine or due to an unrelated pre-existing condition. 

Anvisa, Brazil’s health authority, announced on Wednesday that a volunteer in AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine trial has died  (file image)

Anvisa said testing of the vaccine will continue after the volunteer’s death, but provided no further information, citing medical confidentiality of those involved in trials.    

In a statement to CNBC, a spokesperson from Oxford says there is no concerns about the safety of their jab. 

‘There have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial’ after an assessment of the Brazilian case, Oxford spokesperson Alexander Buxton said.

‘The independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial should continue.’ 

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

Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of coronavirus, with more than 154,000 killed by COVID-19, following only the United States. 

It is the third worst outbreak in terms of cases, with more than 5.2 million infected, after the United States and India

Upon the news, AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7 percent.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

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