Update: On Nov. 11 the Brazilian government resumed the human trial for the Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccine, less than two days after suspending it following a “serious adverse event.” The country’s health regulator said it will continue to monitor the results of the ongoing investigation.
After Brazil’s government suspended the clinical trial of a Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccine Monday following a “serious adverse event,” a police report obtained by Reuters suggested the event — the death of a trial participant — was a suicide.
According to Reuters, local police are still investigating the incident, which occurred on Oct. 29.
Sinovac, the Chinese vaccine maker involved, has been working with the Butantan Institute in Brazil since July to conduct a large-scale human trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac. The company’s spokesperson told Sixth Tone on Tuesday that the incident was not related to the trial, and Sinovac is “confident in the safety of the vaccine.”
Dimas Covas, head of the Butantan Institute, said the trial’s suspension by Brazil’s health regulator had caused “indignation” and was ordered without input from the organizers, according to another Reuters report.
A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said during a press conference Tuesday that “Sinovac will continue to communicate with Brazil on this matter.”
On Tuesday local time, the head of Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency denied that the trial’s suspension was political, saying it had been a “purely technical decision.”
Sinovac’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is one of 11 global candidates currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials. It is also one of three vaccines to have received emergency use authorization from the Chinese government.
Editor: David Paulk.
(Header image: People Visual)