Peru suspends China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine trial after 'serious adverse event'

A health worker prepares a Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine shot for a volunteer in Lima on Dec 9, 2020.
A health worker prepares a Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine shot for a volunteer in Lima on Dec 9, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

LIMA (REUTERS) - Peru suspended trials for China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine due to a "serious adverse event" that occurred with one of the volunteers for the study, the Peruvian government said in a statement on Saturday (Dec 12).

The health ministry said the event is "under investigation to determine if it is related to the vaccine or if there is another explanation."

Sinopharm Group, which is conducting its trials in Peru with some 12,000 volunteers, was about to complete the first stage of the trials in the next few days.

Some 36,544 people have died so far in Peru from the coronavirus pandemic.

"The decision to temporarily suspend clinical trials is a safety measure contemplated in the regulations for clinical trials and protocols established to protect the health of research subjects, the health ministry said in the statement.

German Malaga, chief researcher at the local Cayetano Heredia University, which is involved with the study, said one volunteer had experienced decreased strength in his legs among other symptoms.