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Brazil halts clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine over volunteer’s death

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Concerned authorities in Brazil have halted the clinical trials of an experimental Chinese COVID-19 vaccine after an “adverse incident” involving one of the volunteers.

The decision by Brazil’s health regulator came as a surprise to the trial organisers who said that while there had been a fatality it was not related to the vaccine known as CoronaVac.

The Brazilian regulator, Anvisa, said in a statement on Tuesday it had decided “to interrupt the clinical study of the CoronaVac vaccine after a serious adverse incident” on October 29.

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However, it did not disclose where the clinical trial took place or what happened, citing privacy regulations.

Usually, incidents that prompted the suspension of trials include death, potentially fatal side effects, serious disability, hospitalisation, birth defects or other clinically significant occurrences.

The setback for CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm, Sinovac Biotech, came on the same day the United States pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer said its vaccine candidate had shown 90 percent effectiveness, thus raising hopes of an immediate end to the pandemic.

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