AstraZeneca trial volunteer dies in Brazil. What it means for Covid-19 vaccine development
For confidentiality, vaccine-makers don’t reveal clinical trial details but reports have suggested that the person died before getting candidate vaccine dose.Updated: Oct 22, 2020, 11:23 IST
In September first week, pharma company AstraZeneca which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University halted the trial process as two participants who took part in a trial developed adverse impact. Following this, the trial in other countries got stopped, triggering concern over vaccine safety. The trials began after the UK government gave the vaccine a go-ahead. Trials began in India, Brazil as well. The US authorities, however, has not yet resumed trials. Then a volunteer died in Brazil. But the trial is not being stopped.
Here’s all you need to know about the latest case:
1. Details of vaccine trial participants are confidential information. The details of the illness, if one might develop, are also not disclosed. Brazil’s newspapers reported that the person was a 28-year-old doctor who worked with Covid-19 patients.
2. Reports suggest the person was enrolled as a participant for the ongoing trial. But no candidate vaccine shot was administered yet.
3. Hence, the trial has not been stopped. “All significant medical events are carefully assessed by trial investigators, an independent safety monitoring committee and the regulatory authorities. These assessments have not led to any concerns about continuation of the ongoing study,” AstraZeneca said.
4. But such a piece of news leads to fear among people.
5. Johnson and Johnson which is producing millions of vaccine shots in the United States has halted their trial as one participant reported unexpected illness.
So far, three vaccine trials have been briefly paused in between. Apart from AstraZeneca (resumed elsewhere apart from the US) and Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly’s trial of the antibody treatment was paused after adverse report. Experts, however, feel pausing trials shows the vaccine makers are exercising extreme caution.