Peru suspends scientific trials of Chinese language COVID vaccine

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Peru temporarily suspended clinical trials of a COVID vaccine from Chinese drug giant Sinopharm after neurological problems were found in one of its test volunteers.

The National Institute of Health said Friday that it decided to suspend the process after a volunteer struggled to move his arms, according to local media.

“A few days ago we signaled to regulators that one of our participants (in studies) had neurological symptoms that could correspond to a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome,” said chief researcher German Malaga in comments to the press.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare and non-contagious disease that affects the movement of arms and legs. In June last year, Peru declared a temporary health emergency in five regions after several cases.

In the 1970s, a campaign developed to vaccinate Americans against supposedly devastating swine flu, which stalled after about 450 of those vaccinated developed the syndrome, which can also lead to paralysis.

Peru’s clinical trials for the Sinopharm vaccine should be completed this week after testing around 12,000 people.

If they’re successful – which won’t be known until mid-2021 – the Peruvian government should buy up to 20 million doses to vaccinate two-thirds of its population.

60,000 people around the world have already taken the Sinopharm vaccine, including volunteers in Argentina, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Peru has one of the world’s highest per capita death rates from the virus, which caused 36,499 deaths and 979,111 infections on Friday.

The pandemic has hit the South American country’s economy hard. GDP fell by more than 30 percent in the second quarter.

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© 2020 AFP

Quote: Peru suspends clinical trials with Chinese COVID vaccine (2020, December 12), which will be released on December 12, 2020 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-12-peru-clinical-trials-chinese-covid. html

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