Lima, Peru – The Peruvian Ministry of Health said on Saturday that it has suspended a trial for a Chinese Kovid-19 vaccine following a participant’s health problems.
The Ministry of Health said a trial with 12,000 volunteers for China’s cyanopharma vaccine has been temporarily halted as it investigates whether the vaccine has described one of the participants as a “serious adverse event”. The trial was expected to end in the coming days.
Jermaine Malaga, a health researcher at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, where the test is taking place, said a volunteer presented neurological problems, resulting in difficulty moving her legs. Dr. Malaga told radio station RPP Noticias that he did not believe the health problem was due to the vaccine, but more information was needed.
“We are concerned about the situation, and we are providing our help and support to ensure that it is cleaned up,” he said.
The United Arab Emirates said this week that its own testing for the Sinopharma vaccine showed it was 86% effective in protecting people from Kovid-19.
The UAE trial included 31,000 people, although officials did not disclose how many infection cases were based on estimates of efficacy. More cases, more reliable results are considered. Analysis of its effectiveness against Kovid-19 was also only for one strain of the vaccine developed in Beijing. Another strain is developed in Wuhan.
In Peru, it is unclear which cinopharm strains were used in the country trial. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health did not respond to requests for comment. Sinopharm did not respond to a request for comment.
Chinese vaccine manufacturers face pressure to provide clinical evidence that their experimental candidate works, after leading vaccines, including one developed by Pfizer Inc.
And German partner BioNTech SE has been shown to be highly effective. Public-health experts have criticized China for authorizing the emergency use of its vaccines, before presenting solid clinical evidence.
Sinpharma is testing its vaccines in Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco and Russia. Egypt and Indonesia have already received initial batches of vaccines.
In China, about one million people have received vaccines from Sinopharm, including Chinese workers, government officials and students going abroad.
Peru has confirmed more than 36,500 deaths from Kovid-19, one of the highest per capita death rates in the world.
The country of 32 million people has signed an agreement with Pfizer to receive 9.9 million doses of its Kovid-19 vaccine. Government officials expect the first batch of that vaccine to be delivered around March or April.
Peru has signed an agreement to receive the vaccine from a World Health Organization-backed initiative called Kovacs. That program aims to distribute some 2 billion vaccines to poor countries by the end of 2021.
-Chao Deng contributed to this article.
Write Ryan Dube at [email protected]
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