A local volunteer in Peru participating in Chinese firm Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, who died of COVID-19 pneumonia, received a placebo, not the vaccine. A source close to Sinopharm told the Global Times there is no evidence that the death was related to the company's vaccine.
Researchers at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru involved in Sinopharm's trials said the final-stage trials of the vaccine would continue after the participant who died was confirmed to have been given a placebo instead of Sinopharm vaccine, Reuters reported.A source close to Sinopharm told the Global Times on Wednesday there is no evidence to tell the death is related to the vaccine. The matter has been clear through communication between the two sides.
Cayetano Heredia University said it "unblinded" the volunteer's participation in the trial on the instructions of the Peruvian health regulator, meaning it had released the details of the dead participant who had received the placebo, according to Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
"It is important to stipulate that the death of the participant is not related to the vaccine since she received the placebo, and we will therefore report to the relevant regulatory and ethics bodies and maintain the course of this phase three study," the university said in a statement.
German Malaga, chief researcher at the Cayetano Heredia University, suggested the female volunteer who died had diabetes.
"It is developing without any setbacks. These things can happen, COVID is a disease that causes deaths," Reuters quoted Malaga as saying. "Our message to the volunteers is to take care of themselves because we don't know if they have the vaccine or the placebo."