Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer dies in Brazil

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A laboratory worker places a test tube containing a patients sample into a box.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert, Bloomberg via Getty Images

The University of Oxford's Brazilian trial of its vaccine candidate will continue after the death of a volunteer, the university said on Wednesday, adding an independent review had revealed no safety concerns.

"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," a spokesperson for the university said in a statement.

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter.

ALSO READ | Leading Covid-19 vaccine trial resumes in Japan but not US

The regulator said testing of the vaccine would continue after the volunteer's death. It provided no further details, citing medical confidentiality of those involved in trials.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian but did not say where the person lived.

AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7%.

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.


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