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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Brazilian Authorities Halt Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine

Brazilian health regulator halted clinical trials of the potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac, citing an “adverse, serious event.” The potential vaccine is currently being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac, and it would be mostly produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute. About 10,000 volunteers are taking part in the phase three tests.

Brazilian health regulator halted clinical trials of the potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac, citing an “adverse, serious event.” 

The potential vaccine is currently being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac, and it would be mostly produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute. About 10,000 volunteers are taking part in the phase three tests.

During a Wednesday morning press conference, Sao Paulo state health authorities told local reporters that Anvisa sent a single email on Tuesday night saying that the tests should be immediately halted. They also said the incident with one of the trial volunteers was unrelated to the trials.

“Such news coming the way it did causes our surprise, insecurity and, in our case, indignation,” head of the Butantan Institute Dimas Covas said, pointing out that it was “impossible” that the volunteer’s incident had any relation to the tests.

Covas also said he met with Anvisa leaders but received no feedback on when the tests will be allowed to continue. “This is unpleasant news; it worries all volunteers that enrolled to take the shot. This might raise doubts among those that still planned to volunteer,” he said.

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