Brazilian volunteer in Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial DIES, authorities say

Elias Hubbard
October 22, 2020

The trials will still reportedly go ahead.

The Brazilian government has announced the death of a volunteer in the clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

In a statement emailed to Gizmodo, an AstraZeneca spokesperson said, "We cannot comment on individual cases in an ongoing trial of the Oxford vaccine as we adhere strictly to medical confidentiality and clinical trial regulations, but we can confirm that all required review processes have been followed".

According to Anvisa, Brazil's health authority, received information from an investigation into the death.

It comes after confirmation the trials will continue after a man taking part died in Brazil.

"Hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people", explained Doshi.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and lead on the Oxford vaccine trial, added: "This is a wonderful example of cross-disciplinary collaboration, using new technology to examine exactly what the vaccine does when it gets inside a human cell".

However, worldwide reports this week suggested the US Food and Drug Administration had completed its review and AstraZeneca would resume its trial as early as this week. Soon after, the trials were restarted most everywhere, though not in the of yet.

The D'Or Teaching and Research Institute (IDOR), which is helping organize the tests in Brazil, said the independent review had "raised no doubts about the safety of the study, and recommended it continue".

So far, 8,000 of the planned 10,000 volunteers in the trial have been recruited and given the first dose in six cities in Brazil. A competing vaccine, manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, is now in the resting stage at the Butantan Institute, the state research center in Sao Paolo. 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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