AstraZeneca that has developed a coronavirus vaccine with University of Oxford faced yet another roadblock after a volunteer in Brazil who participated in the trials died. This is the second setback for the leading coronavirus vaccine contender. However, sources told Brazilian newspaper O Globo that the deceased had not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The AstraZeneca trials have not been suspended. An AstraZeneca spokesperson, while declining to comment on the volunteer's death, said that there were no concerns that would lead the trials to be paused. "All significant medical events are carefully assessed by trial investigators, an independent safety monitoring committee and the regulatory authorities. These assessments have not led to any concerns about continuation of the ongoing study," said the spokesperson.
Here's everything you need to know about the AstraZeneca volunteer case:
- On Wednesday, Brazilian health authority Anvisa said that a volunteer who participated in the clinical trial of AstraZeneca-University of Oxford succumbed. It added that it had received data from an investigation into the matter.
- Details of the volunteer were not divulged as they are private information. However, it was reported that the deceased was a 28-year-old doctor who worked with coronavirus patients.
- While the regulator provided no further details, it said that the testing would continue even after the volunteer's death.
- However, the participant was reportedly not administered the AstraZeneca vaccine. Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that the volunteer was in a control group that did not receive the coronavirus vaccine.
- Under the trial, some participants receive the experimental vaccine while some receive an established meningitis vaccine. The trial is overseen by an independent board.
- Oxford University acknowledged the volunteer's death but said that there have been no concerns about the vaccine. "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," said the university.