Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate trial halted in Brazil after participant dies

Leading Chinese vaccine candidate hits stumbling block in Brazil following a halt imposed by country’s regulatory agency.

Just a day after Pfizer’s big reveal, the Brazilian leg of Sinovac’s Coronavac Phase III trial has been put on hold following the death of one of the participants, though the patient is reported to not have been in the active vaccine arm. The move by Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency to halt the trial has prompted speculation that the seemingly unwarranted move could be political following Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s criticism of the vaccine due to its ties to China.

According to a statement released late Monday, the serious adverse event is reported to have occurred on Oct. 29. With further analysis expected, researchers involved are hopeful the trial will resume shortly. Similar studies by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca/University of Oxford have also seen halts put in place, though their studies have since been resumed. The move is a major setback for one of China's leading vaccine candidates, which is already being rolled out across the country.