According to Peru, China’s Sinopharm could restart the coronavirus vaccine trial after the volunteer’s illness

FILE PHOTO: A Sinopharm mark can be seen at China International Services Trade Fair (CIFTIS) 2020 in Beijing, China on Sept. 5, 2020. REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

LIMA (Reuters) – The Peruvian Health Minister said on Wednesday that China’s Sinopharm could resume a trial for its coronavirus vaccine in the severely affected Andean nation just days after authorities suspended testing to better understand why a volunteer got sick.

The health authorities announced at the weekend that the Sinopharm study would be temporarily canceled for safety reasons after a volunteer had less strength in his legs, among other things.

“We had several meetings with Sinopharm and … the suspension was lifted today (Wednesday),” said Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti.

Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, which is conducting its studies in Peru with around 12,000 volunteers, was close to completing the first phase of the studies in the next few days and planned to give a second dose of their vaccine in the coming weeks.

The Peruvian government said Tuesday negotiations with Sinopharm to buy COVID-19 vaccines were “well advanced”.

Health officials in Peru reported 987,675 cases of coronavirus and 36,817 deaths on Tuesday.

Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Dave Sherwood; Adaptation by Grant McCool