Brazil's Health Ministry on November 9 said that it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese developed COVID-19 vaccine after an adverse incident involving a volunteer recipient. The Brazilian regulator, Anvisa, reportedly said that it had ruled to interrupt the clinical trial of the CoronaVac vaccine after a serious adverse incident involving a serious adverse incident on October 29.
According to local media reports, the National Health Surveillance Agency said that it could not give details on what happened, but added that such incidents included death, potentially fatal side effects, serious disability, hospitalization, birth defects and other clinically significant events.
The decision to suspend the clinical trials of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine comes in the midst of rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The suspension also comes after the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that this vaccine candidate has shown over 90% efficacy against the deadly virus.
The CoronaVac shot has already stirred controversy in Brazil, where President Jair Bolosonaro has cast doubt on its prospective effectiveness. Bolosonaro had spared confusion last month when he publicly rejected it, saying that the Brazilians would not be used "guinea pigs".
Brazil's health minister Edurado Pazuello had also agreed to purchase CoronaVac doses produced locally by Butantan. The Brazilian President has additionally also expressed mistrust of China, particularly o the campaign trail in 2018, although he has softened rhetoric somewhat in office.
Meanwhile, Anvisa had authorized the import from China of six million doses of CoronaVac. The agency had said that the potential vaccine can not be administered to Brazilians as it isn't yet approved locally.
On Monday, Sao Paulo's state health secretary Jean Gorinchteyan, had, however, said that the first 120,000 CoronaVac shots would arrive at Sao Paulo's International airport on November 20. "We will keep following health protocols to give the shots. They will only be taken to the public after a final authorization from Brazil's health regulator," Gorinchteyn said.
According to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, Brazil recorded 10,917 new cases and currently, the total case tally in the country stands at 1,590,025, while the total number of deaths is 161,106.