A volunteer from Brazil participating in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died, Brazilian health authority Anvisa revealed on Wednesday. However, the trials will continue, the authority further added.
The volunteer did not receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine candidate as he was part of a control group that was given a meningitis vaccine, news agency Reuters reported. Had he died because of the experimental inoculation, the trials would have been stopped, the report further added.
However, CNN Brasil reported that the volunteer, a 28-year-old man from Rio de Janeiro died from COVID-related complications. The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate Phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, said that it is up to an independent review board to decide whether to stop the trials or continue with them.
No official statement from AstraZeneca has come till the time of filing of this report.
Notably, Serum Institute of India is working with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to conduct trials and produce their vaccine candidate once it receives the required regulatory approvals.
Last month, AstraZeneca had to halt clinical trials after a volunteer in the UK developed transverse myelitis. While Brazil, along with India, the UK and South Africa had allowed trials to resume, they are expected to be back on track by this week in the US.
(With Reuters inputs)