Oxford Vaccine Trial to Continue After Death of Brazil Volunteer

The volunteer had reportedly received a placebo, not the test vaccine.

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Brazilian health authorities on Wednesday, 21 October, announced that a volunteer participating in clinical trials of the COVID vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has died, the authorities said that they had received the data and are probing the matter, reported Reuters.

News agency AFP reported that the volunteer had received a placebo, not the test vaccine.

However, the organisers of the research study stated that the testing of the vaccine would continue, and there were no safety concerns. The vaccine is being developed with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

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

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, said that the volunteer was a Brazilian, reported Reuters.

Citing other media reports, AFP stated that the volunteer was a doctor working on the front lines of the pandemic who died of complications from COVID-19. The researchers provided no further details citing medical confidentiality of those involved in trials, AFP reported.

AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7 percent.

Earlier in September, the phase three trial of the University of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine was suspended following a suspected adverse reaction in one of its participants.

Trials resumed after British regulators and an independent review concluded the illness was not a side effect of the vaccine.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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