Advertisement

Brazil to resume trial of China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine

Click to play video: 'Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine: The refrigeration problem no one is talking about' Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine: The refrigeration problem no one is talking about
WATCH ABOVE: The refrigeration problem of a coronavirus vaccine – Nov 10, 2020

Brazil‘s health regulator Anvisa has allowed the resumption of late-stage clinical trials for China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, which had been suspended due to the death of a volunteer that was registered in Sao Paulo as a suicide.

Brazilian medical institute Butantan said in a statement it would restart trials later on Wednesday.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, a longtime China skeptic who has baselessly dismissed the Sinovac vaccine as lacking in credibility, had hailed Monday’s suspension as a personal victory.

Read more: Bolsonaro claims ‘victory’ as Chinese coronavirus vaccine trial halted in Brazil

The decision was severely criticized by the trial organizers, who said the move had taken them by surprise and that there had been no need to stop the study as the death had no relation to the vaccine.

Story continues below advertisement

The suspension further inflamed tensions between Bolsonaro and Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, who has pinned his political ambitions on the Chinese vaccine that he aims to roll out in his state as early as January, with or without federal assistance.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus vaccine distribution challenges' Coronavirus vaccine distribution challenges
Coronavirus vaccine distribution challenges – Nov 10, 2020

Anvisa, in its statement on Wednesday, said the initial information it received about the case, which led to the suspension, had been incomplete and lacked the cause of the “severe adverse event.” It has strongly dismissed suggestions the decision could have been politically motivated.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“After evaluating the new data presented by the sponsor … Anvisa understands that it has sufficient reasons to allow the resumption of vaccination,” the agency said.

Read more: Coronavirus resurgence in Brazil Amazon’s largest city dashes hope for herd immunity

Story continues below advertisement

“It is important to clarify that a suspension does not necessarily mean that the product under investigation does not offer quality, safety or efficacy,” Anvisa added.

Sinovac, in a statement said: “We are confident in the safety of the vaccine, fully understand and appreciate Anvisa’s strict supervision and timely resumption of the clinical studies.”

Brazil has one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, with over 5.7 million confirmed cases and 163,000 deaths related to the virus. Bolsonaro has come under fire for his constant dismissal of the virus and its dangers.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro said Brazilians “must stop being sissies” about the virus, adding “we are all going to die one day.”

Sponsored content