In Brazil, the use of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca for pregnant women was suspended nationally Tuesday, after a death was reported. The deceased was a 35-year-old expectant mother residing in Rio De Janeiro who experts say suffered fatal health complications allegedly linked to inoculation. Investigations in the case are underway.
COVID-19 vaccination in Brazil, however, continues with the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccines.
Brazil’s health ministry officials called for the suspension of AstraZeneca for pregnant women “exclusively on technical criteria,” with restrictions remaining in place until the case of death is fully examined. Pregnant women who have already had their first jab have been asked to hold off on the second.
AstraZeneca, in a statement, said that pregnant and breastfeeding women had not been included in clinical trials before the vaccine rollout. Study evidence, however, had not suggested adverse effects.
Is AstraZeneca For Pregnant Women Safe? Brazil Deliberates
The woman who died May 10 was 23 weeks pregnant, national health regulator Anvisa said, as per Reuters. “It is not clear that the vaccine caused this blood clot. We are analysing the details of the whole case to reach a conclusion and clarify what happened,” a member of Brazil’s vaccination program said at a press briefing.
“The serious adverse event of a hemorrhagic stroke was assessed as possibly related to the use of the vaccine given to the pregnant woman,” Anvisa said in a statement, ordering “immediate suspension” of AstraZeneca Monday night.
Most states have independently taken the suspension order too.
Brazil is among the top three countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Others are India and the United States. Bloomberg notes that the case-fatality ratio of deaths is almost twice that of India, which itself is under a deadly grip of the virus surmounted by flailing health infra.