The Brazilian health authority Anvisa revealed this Wednesday, October 21, that one of the volunteers died in the clinical trial of the vaccine for Covid-19 that is being developed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
In a statement to which “Reuters” had access, the National Health Surveillance Agency based in Brasília said that despite the death of the volunteer, the vaccine tests would continue, without providing further details, citing the medical confidentiality of those involved in the trials. The international press reports that sources linked to clinical trials said that the volunteer would not be receiving the drug but the placebo - hence the tests are not interrupted.
Separately, the Federal University of São Paulo, which is helping to coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, explained that the volunteer was Brazilian, but did not say where he lived.
The federal government of Brazil has plans to buy the vaccine from the United Kingdom and produce it at its biomedical research center FioCruz, in Rio de Janeiro, while a vaccine competing with the Chinese Sinova that is being tested by the research center of the Butantan Institute of the state of São Paulo.
However, today, President Jair Bolsonaro reported on the request for the cancellation of the protocol for the purchase of 46 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine, which is being tested by the Butantan Institute of São Paulo, according to “Globo”. “I already had it canceled. I am the president, I do not give up my authority. Even because I would be buying a vaccine that nobody is interested in, except us ”, guaranteed JairBolsonaro.
The news about the death of the Astrazeneca volunteer, as well as the request by the President of Brazil to cancel the protocol with CoronaVac, follow the announcement that the current Minister of Health in Brazil has tested positive for Covid-19.
Brazil has more than 154 thousand deaths from the disease caused by the new coronavirus, just behind the United States. It is the third country with the most confirmed cases, accounting for more than 5,2 million infected people, after the United States and India.
The announcement led AstraZeneca's shares to fall 1,7%.