Brazilian health regulator Anvisa recommended the immediate suspension of the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women, according to a statement on Monday.
The Health Ministry also said it is investigating the case of a pregnant woman in Rio de Janeiro who reportedly died after receiving the AstraZeneca shot, newspaper Folha de SÃ£o Paulo reported, citing a statement from the ministry late on Monday.
In the statement, Folha reported, the ministry said it is reevaluating immunization of pregnant women with no other risk factors. The AstraZeneca shot is produced and distributed in Brazil via a partnership with public health institute Fiocruz.
AstraZeneca and Fiocruz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Oxford-AstraZeneca trial finds vaccine not suitable for SA
A South African study of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial has indicated that the vaccine does not have the required 60% efficacy against the variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa.
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is the first study to raise the alarm that, despite early successes with COVID-19 vaccines, further research is warranted on the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that AstraZeneca still be deployed in countries where the variant circulates, as it likely still protects against hospitalisation and death caused by COVID-19.
The principal investigator in the South African Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial, Professor Shabir Madhi, says they need to exercise caution in interpreting this data.
“Peer review and publication of these results validate the findings and make a compelling case for the development of a second-generation vaccine worldwide. However, we also need to exercise caution in interpreting this data. As there is indirect evidence that this vaccine will still protect against severe COVID-19. Even with the variant that dominates in South Africa and the rest of Southern Africa.”
This is what is wrong with AstraZeneca:
11 European countries pause use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: