Oxford vaccine trial to continue despite volunteer death
Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will continue, despite Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) announcement that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine had died.
The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase three clinical trials of the vaccine in Brazil, said separately that the 28-year-old volunteer was a Brazilian.
Brazil’s health authority has given no details about the death, citing confidentiality protocols.
However, it was reported by CNN Brasil that the volunteer died from COVID-19 complications.
Meanwhile, Oxford confirmed it would keep testing.
“Following careful assessment of this case in Brazil, there have been no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial, and the independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial should continue,” the British university said in a statement.
According to some sources, the volunteer did not receive the vaccine, as only around half the volunteers in the trial are given the actual Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine. The second group is being given an existing licensed vaccine for meningitis.
Neither the participants nor their families know which vaccine they are being given.
To date, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine had successful phase 1 and 2 testing with big hopes that the vaccine could be one of the first to make it onto the market.
Trials of the Oxford vaccine were paused last month after a reported side effect in a patient in the UK but were resumed days later when it was deemed safe to continue.