ENTERTAINMENT

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine study volunteer dies in Brazil


A volunteer in the Brazilian arm of AstraZeneca and Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine study has died.

Brazilian health authority Anvisa announced on Wednesday that it had just received information from an investigation into the death.

The Federal University of São Paulo, which is helping coordinate Phase III clinical trials in Brazil, separately stated that the volunteer was Brazilian.

However, no information is available on the person's name, age and race, or where they live in the country.

According to Bloomberg, the volunteer was one 28-year-old man who did not receive the vaccine before he died.

Brazil's health authority Anvisa announced on Wednesday that a volunteer had died in the coronavirus vaccine study by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Pictured: Brazilian pediatrician Dr. Monica Levi, who received the COVID-19 vaccine, is working at the Specialized Clinic for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and Immunizations in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 24th

Anvisa, Brazil's health authority, announced on Wednesday that a volunteer has died in the AstraZeneca and Oxford University coronavirus vaccine study (file image)

Health officials say testing of the vaccine will continue despite the volunteer's death, but it is unclear whether the vaccine is related to the death. Pictured: AstraZeneca's office in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, July 21st

Health officials say testing of the vaccine will continue despite the volunteer's death, but it is unclear whether the vaccine is related to the death. Pictured: AstraZeneca's office in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, July 21st

Anvisa said testing of the vaccine will continue after the volunteer's death, but did not provide any further information, citing the medical confidentiality of those involved in studies.

In a statement to CNBC, an Oxford spokesman said there were no concerns about the safety of their bump.

"There were no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial," said Oxford spokesman Alexander Buxton after an assessment of the Brazilian case.

"The independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator recommended that the process continue."

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The federal government already has plans to buy the UK vaccine and manufacture it at its FioCruz biomedical research center in Rio de Janeiro, while a competing vaccine made from the Chinese Sinovac is being tested by the state research center Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo.

Brazil has the second deadliest coronavirus outbreak. More than 154,000 people were killed by COVID-19, just according to the US.

It is the third worst outbreak in terms of cases with more than 5.2 million infected after the US and India

On the news, AstraZeneca stock went negative, falling 1.7 percent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is keeping the American arm of AstraZeneca's trial on hold.

The late-stage study was halted on September 8 when a British participant was hospitalized after a severe reaction.

An internal security report revealed the The patient was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which is inflammation of a section of the spinal cord.

The condition damages the myelin sheath, an insulating barrier made of fatty protein that protects the nerves, and disrupts the messages sent by the spinal cord nerves.

This leads to pain, weakness, abnormal sensations and problems with the bladder and intestines – and can even lead to permanent paralysis.

Testing resumed in all other locations but not in America.

It was announced on Tuesday that the FDA had completed its safety data review and was planning to restart the study in the United States.

However, it is unclear whether the Brazilian patient's death will reverse that decision.

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