On October 21, 2020, the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) announced that it is investigating data received on the death of a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
The patient, a 28-year old doctor, recently graduated, worked on the front line combatting COVID-19 in three hospitals in Rio de Janeiro. He reportedly died due to complications from COVID-19 however it is unknown whether he received the vaccine or a placebo.
It is important to remember that it is the Phase 3 study that assesses efficacy and safety so that a vaccine can be used for the entire population. We shouldn’t lose hope and we must move forward as safely as possible in search of a vaccine. This volunteer was a hero, he put his life on the line every day caring for patients with COVID-19, and then volunteered to be a part of the study. He didn’t hesitate, he went in with both eyes open with the goal of assisting researchers in finding the appropriate vaccine. May he rest in peace knowing that his efforts have been recognized by all of us.
Stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned.