Brazilian States Suspend AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine for Pregnant Women After Death

Several Brazilian states on Tuesday halted the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women after a woman who had received the vaccine died, according to a report.

ANVISA, the countries’ National Health Surveillance Agency, recommended the “immediate suspension” of the vaccine for pregnant women in a statement issued late on Monday, without providing many details.

The health regulator cited that the recommendation was the result of “constant monitoring of adverse events related to COVID vaccines in use in the country.”

Brazil’s Sao Paulo has temporarily paused the use of the vaccine for pregnant women with previous medical conditions and Rio de Janeiro suspended it for all pregnant women, Reuters reported.

Both states cited ANVISA’s recommendation as a contributing factor to its decision to suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The pregnant woman’s death was reported in Rio de Janeiro and happened after getting inoculated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, said Alexandre Chieppe, the state’s secretary of health.

NTD Photo
Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Health Alexandre Chieppe gestures during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 2, 2016. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

It is unclear if the woman had any underlying diseases or how much time passed between her death and the inoculation. The case has been placed under investigation by the health ministry, Brazilian news agency Folha de S. Paulo reported.

In a statement obtained by Reuters, AstraZeneca said clinical trials didn’t include pregnant women and women breastfeeding. Studies in animals did not produce direct or indirect evidence of harm regarding pregnancy or fetal development, it added.

AstraZeneca is one of two shots more widely available in Brazil. The shot is produced and distributed in the country via a partnership with public health institute Fiocruz.

The United States has a stockpile of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, though regulators have not yet approved it for public use.

The Biden administration said on April 26 it will start sharing its stockpile of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with other countries.

The United States plans to share all the doses it has, provided they pass safety reviews. As many as 60 million doses will be sent to other countries in the coming months.