AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer dies

Ruben Fields
October 23, 2020

"Following careful assessment of this case in Brazil, there have been no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial, and the independent review, in addition to the Brazilian regulator, have recommended that the trial should continue", Oxford-AstraZeneca said in a statement cited by Reuters.

Another vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, said earlier this month that it would pause its trial to investigate an illness in a study participant.

To date, 8,000 volunteers have been administered with either the vaccine candidate or a placebo in the trial being held in Rio.

Brasil reported that the volunteer was a 28-year-old man who lived in Rio de Janeiro and died from Covid-19 complications.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson said that the company can not comment on individual cases in an ongoing trial due to medical confidentiality and clinical trial regulations.

Brazil has plans to purchase the United Kingdom owned vaccine and produce it in Rio de Janeiro, while competing against China-based vaccine, Sinovac Biotech Ltd SVA.O, which is being tested a Sao Paulo state's research centre. It states that the vaccine accurately copies and performs the genetic instructions programmed into it by its designers.

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Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said after the Health Ministry meeting that the federal government has agreed to buy 46 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

Brazil has been one of the hardest-hit areas of the world during this pandemic.

AstraZeneca, the company with whom Oxford is developing the vaccine, said it could no comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality, but insisted all due processes had been followed and the trial should continue. More details concerning the report have since emerged, but there.

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Health Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday there would be enough doses to vaccinate the "most vulnerable" Americans before the end of the year, then the elderly and health workers in January, and all Americans by early April.

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