A 28-year-old COVID-19 clinical trial volunteer in Brazil has died. The trial participant lived in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro and died from coronavirus complications during the vaccine trials. The vaccine under trial was developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, CNN reports.
The information regarding the death of the trial volunteer was broken by Anvisa, the Brazilian health authority. The trial is already in Phase 3 and is being managed by the Federal University of Sao Paulo. Following the death of the participant, the organizers said the trials will continue after consultation with an independent review committee.
“Everything is proceeding as expected, without any record of serious vaccine-related complications involving any of the participating volunteers,” authorities of the Federal University of Sao Paulo announced.
A total of 10,000 participants are planned for the trial across six Brazilian cities, and 8,000 of these volunteers have already been recruited. Most of them have been administered the second shot of the vaccine, according to the authorities.
An internal source stated that the ongoing trial may have been stopped if the deceased participant had been given the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning that all the participant was administered with was a meningitis jab because he was part of the control group who never got the actual vaccine.
The Brazilian government has agreed to buy AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines and then manufacture it at a biomedical research facility FioCruz in Rio de Janeiro. The government is also considering a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech which is currently undergoing tests at the Butantan Institute, the government’s research facility in San Paulo.
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has already revealed that the federal government may likely buy the UK coronavirus vaccine and not the Chinese vaccine.
With over 154,000 COVID-19 deaths in the country, Brazil has the second deadliest incidence of the pandemic after the United States which has more fatalities. The country also has the third-largest number of coronavirus infection cases in the world with over 5.2 million cases after the United States and India.