Trial of Chinese COVID vaccine halted due to 'severe adverse' incident

Brazilian trial halted after a volunteer dies; authorities claim the death was unrelated.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Chinese and Brazilian flags
Chinese and Brazilian flags

Trials for a Chinese-made vaccine for the coronavirus that were underway in Brazil have been suspended, the BBC reports, due to a “severe adverse” incident that occurred.

According to sources within Brazil, the incident occurred on October 29. No further details have been provided, but Dimas Covas, the head of the Butantan medical research institute conducting the trial, told media that the “adverse” incident was in fact a death. However, he denied that it was linked to the vaccine.

This particular vaccine was being developed by Sinovac Biotech, which stated that it remains “confident in the safety of the vaccine.” Huge numbers of people have already received this vaccine in China under an emergency use program, and Phase 3 trials for the vaccine are also underway in Indonesia and Turkey, where no adverse effects have yet been reported.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has previously made comments indicating his preference for the vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford, and has suggested that he would not permit his government to purchase a Chinese-made product. AstraZeneca’s own trials were paused in September after suspicion arose related to an adverse reaction in a participant. However, a review concluding that the vaccine remained safe allowed the trials to resume just a few days later.

Sinovac remains insistent that its CoronaVac is safe, and the vaccine is still being administered to dozens if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese, who apparently can choose between three different Chinese-made vaccine products. According to Chinese health officials, no serious side effects have been observed in clinical trials so far.