Who was Dr João Pedro R Feitosa? Covid-19 vaccine trial continues after 28-year-old volunteer dies in Brazil
One of the volunteers in the Brazilian arm of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine trial has been declared dead. The 28-year-old from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Dr João Pedro R Feitosa was reported to have succumbed to complications from the COVID-19.
Brazilian newspaper Globo and news agency Bloomberg had previously said that Feitosa was a part of the control group that had received a placebo instead of the test vaccine, based on sources close to the trial, according to Daily Mail. However, recent reports have confirmed that he was not a part of the group that received the vaccine and if he had been, the trial would have been suspended.
The research-based BioPharmaceutifcal company AstraZeneca has issued a statement saying the trial will continue, in a statement to NBC News. “We cannot comment on individual cases in an ongoing trial of the Oxford vaccine as we adhere strictly to medical confidentiality and clinical trial regulations, but we can confirm that all required review processes have been followed," AstraZeneca said.
The statement further read, "All significant medical events are carefully assessed by trial investigators, an independent safety monitoring committee and the regulatory authorities. These assessments have not led to any concerns about the continuation of the ongoing study."
Who was Dr João Pedro R Feitosa?
Dr Feistosa was an alum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was reportedly treating Covid-19 patients since March in at two different hospitals in Rio de Janeiro. He was placed in the emergency rooms and intensive care units to treat patients who tested positive for the virus.
Dr Feistosa’s family told Brazilian newspaper G1 Rio that he graduated from medical school in 2019 and was in good health before contracting the virus. He passed away on October 15. Rio de Janeiro released a statement on behalf of Dr Feitosa’s family and girlfriend.
“João, I think that in this little text I could remember how good an exemplary doctor and student you were, but I think the memory that I will mention to everyone here will be different. I want to keep the memory forever how good a boyfriend, brother and friend you were,” it read.
It further stated, “The pain in the chest, the emptiness and longing since you left are growing every moment and what gives us strength in that moment besides the affection of so many friends you made in life is remembering what you were like.” The trials have also resumed in the UK after British regulators and an independent review concluded that Dr. Feistosa’s death was caused by the complications from the virus and wasn’t the result of the side effects of the vaccine.
So far, nearly 8000 volunteers have been given the vaccination in Brazil and 20,000 worldwide. The participants chosen for the trials are required to be doctors, nurses or workers from the health sector, who are regularly exposed to the coronavirus.