Peru rejects AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine purchase deal

FILE PHOTO: A test tube labeled with the vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

LIMA (Reuters) - The Peruvian government said on Thursday that it refused to sign a coronavirus vaccine purchase agreement with AstraZeneca PLC because it did not provide sufficient data from its studies and offered minimal amounts of inoculations.

Prime Minister Walter Martos said in a news conference that the government had asked AstraZeneca for data from its vaccine studies, but that the firm had not sent the information.

“The other labs have caught up with us accordingly, however AstraZeneca has not,” Martos said.

“They were offering us a very low quantity of vaccines compared with other laboratories that are offering us large quantities at lower costs,” he said.

Brazil said Wednesday that a volunteer died in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, but added that laboratory testing would continue. [nL1N2HC1O6]

Despite a slowdown in the number of new infections in Peru, a second wave of the pandemic in the country is possible, Martos said. AstraZeneca planned to conduct trials in Peru.

The rate of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in Peru has been slowing since September. As of Tuesday, COVID-19 cases in Peru totaled 876,885, with 33,937 deaths.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Christopher Cushing