Volunteer in AstraZeneca coronavirus clinical trial dies, report says

Medical syringe is seen with 'covid-19' sign displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on October 12, 2020. (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A volunteer involved in AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine trial has died, Brazilian health authority Anvisa announced on Wednesday, according to Reuters. An investigation into the death is ongoing, but the trials will continue.

The Wall Street Journal, citing local Brazilian press reports, said the volunteer was a man in his 20s from Rio de Janeiro. It was not immediately clear if the man received the vaccine or had been part of a placebo group.

An anonymous source told Reuters that if the victim had received the vaccine, the trial would have been stopped.

In June, the country announced a deal to purchase 100 million doses of the potential coronavirus vaccine should it prove to be safe and effective. At the time, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who himself has recovered from COVID-19, said the money was meant to invest in research and purchase “a batch of vaccines for us.”

The country has the second most coronavirus-related fatalities in the world, and has reported over 5.2 million cases of the virus.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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