Peru volunteer in Sinopharm vaccine trial dies of COVID-19 pneumonia, university says

From Marco Aquino
LIMA (Reuters) - A volunteer in the local Peruvian study with a coronavirus vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm Group Co Ltd has died of COVID-19-related pneumonia, the university said Tuesday.
Cayetano Heredia University, which is involved in the study, said it did not know whether the volunteer received the vaccine or the placebo in the double-blind study. Peru is hit by a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
"We regret to announce that one of our volunteers has died of complications from COVID-19 pneumonia. It is a painful loss for which we express our condolences to her family," the university said in a statement.
"She received the care required to manage this disease and its complications, and fought for her life for over a week."
The university added that it had reported the case to the study's safety committee and regulators to conduct an investigation. No mention was made of whether the process would be discontinued.
"Cases of infection or deterioration in participants given a placebo are similar to what would occur in the unimmunized population," the university said, adding that such cases could occur in participants who had received a vaccine, " because their effectiveness is not 100% ".
In December, Peru temporarily suspended trials of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine because of a "serious adverse event" encountered in a volunteer in the study.
In Brazil, clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac COVID-19 were suspended before it was allowed to resume late last year due to the death of a subject registered as suicide in Sao Paulo.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; writing by Adam Jourdan)

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