Brazilian mother-to-be dies after AZ vaccination, 2 states declare pregnant women off vaccination

A pregnant woman in Brazil has died after receiving the Oxford/AZ Wuhan pneumonia (novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19) vaccine, raising safety concerns. The states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have announced a moratorium on vaccinations for pregnant women.

Reuters reports that while Brazilian health authorities are still investigating the death, Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has issued a safety warning to pregnant women about the AZ vaccine. The states of Rio and São Paulo announced earlier that they would follow Anvisa’s advice and stop administering the AZ vaccine to pregnant women as a precaution.

In response, AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the AZ vaccine, said in a statement that pregnant women and breastfed babies were not included in clinical trials for the AZ vaccine; however, according to data from animal tests, there is no direct or indirect evidence that the vaccine causes harm to pregnant women and fetuses.