China

Peru suspends Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine trial after "adverse event"

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A sign of Sinopharm is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Beijing, China September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/Files

LIMA, Dec 12 (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.

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 Co Ltd (1099.HK), 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.

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Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Hugh Bronstein; editing by Diane Craft

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