New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could be a shock for the COVID-19 vaccine developers, the Brazilian health authority 'Anvisa' on Wednesday said that a volunteer, who is involved in the clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, has lost his life.

The Brazilian health authority Anvisa, as reported by news agency Reuters, has stated that the information regarding the death of the volunteer has been received from an investigation done into the matter.

However, Anvisa provided no further details in the matter, citing medical confidentiality of the volunteers involved in the vaccine trials and it is still not confirmed that whether the volunteer was administered with the vaccine or not. Meanwhile, it said that they will continue with the vaccine trials after the volunteer's death.

"AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with the University of Oxford, said it can’t comment on individual cases because of confidentiality and clinical trial rules. Oxford has no concerns about the safety of the vaccine trial after an independent and careful review, and Brazil’s regulators have recommended that it continue", Stephen Rouse, university communications head said in a statement.

According to a report by Reuters, the Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping in phase 3 clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford in Brazil, has separately confirmed that the deceased volunteer was a Brazilian but did not confirm the exact location where he lived.

AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7% on Wednesday afternoon afterword of the person’s death, but trimmed most of those losses in recent trading.

The Brazilian government has already planned to buy the vaccine developed by Oxford and produce it at its biomedical research centre 'FioCruz' in Ria de Janeiro. The Sao Paulo state's research centre Butantan Institute, meanwhile, is also testing a competing vaccine from China's Sinovac.

Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of coronavirus, with more than 154,000 killed by COVID-19, following only the United States. It is the third-worst outbreak in terms of cases, with more than 5.2 million infected, after the United States and India.

Posted By: Talib Khan