Johnson & Johnson has paused its Covid-19 vaccine trial due to an “unexplained illness” in a participant, the company confirmed yesterday evening.
The pharmaceutical giant was unclear if the patient was administered a placebo or the experimental vaccine, and it’s not remarkable for studies as large as the one Johnson & Johnson are conducting – involving 60,000 patients – to be temporarily paused.
In September, another trial for a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was paused for a second time since trials began in April after a suspected adverse reaction in a patient. The study restarted a week afterward in UK, and in other countries since then, but remains on ice in the US.
“We have temporarily paused further dosing in all our COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials. Following our guidelines, the participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated,” Johnson & Johnson revealed in a statement.
The Johnson & Johnson trial, which was meant to yield results early next year, is one of four vaccine trials in the most advanced, phase 3 stage, and one of six coronavirus vaccines being tested in the US. Late stage vaccine trials from Pfizer and Moderna continue and are expected to yield results this year. While the vaccines under development by Moderna and Pfizer would requite two doses, Johnson & Johnson’s would only require one.
Although top health officials have indicated that a viable vaccine is unlikely to go through trials and approval processes and be ready for mass production and distribution before next spring, Donald Trump has repeatedly promised a vaccine by or soon after the US Presidential election day on 3 November.
Read Johnson & Johnson’s Press Release on the COVID-19 vaccine trial pause HERE.