Brazil halts COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant women after a death in Rio de Janeiro

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Brazilian states halted vaccination of pregnant women on Tuesday after a death in Rio de Janeiro led health regulator Anvisa to warn against the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for expecting mothers.

A pregnant woman in Rio de Janeiro died after receiving the AstraZeneca shot, according to state Health Secretary Alexandre Chieppe, in a case authorities are still investigating.

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Brazil’s Sao Paulo state suspended COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women with risk factors and Rio state suspended immunization of all pregnant women. Both states cited the Anvisa recommendation as a reason for the decision.

The Health Ministry said it is investigating the case, newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported, citing a statement from the ministry late on Monday. The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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The AstraZeneca shot is produced and distributed in Brazil via a partnership with public health institute Fiocruz.

AstraZeneca and Fiocruz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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