Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine trials suspended

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Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it had temporarily halted its coronavirus vaccine trials after a participant experienced unexplained illness, the second major setback to strike a late test of a coronavirus vaccination.

The pharmaceutical giant said it suspended all other dosages in the trials after one participant fell ill. The break in the trial, which aims to recruit 60,000 people to determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective, was first reported by Matthew Herper of Stat News.

J&J said the participant’s illness was under review by independent counsel as well as occupational physicians. The company did not share more information on the nature of the disease, citing patient privacy.

“We must respect the privacy of this participant,” J&J said in a statement. “We are also learning more about this participant’s disease, and it is important to have all the facts before sharing additional information. ”

A coronavirus vaccine trial from British drug maker AstraZeneca faces a similar setback. In September, AstraZeneca suspended the trial after a participant experienced a potential side effect. The UK portion of the trial has resumed, although the US portion of the trial is still on hold and subject to further investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Further advanced vaccine trials from Pfizer and Moderna are underway, and they may yield results this year.

J&J, the world’s largest healthcare company, began its advanced stage trial in September to determine if the shot can prevent COVID-19. The trial is also designed to provide information on whether the vaccine can be given safely to millions of potential people.

The trial was initially expected to give rapid results by the end of 2020. Depending on how long the trial is suspended, results could be delayed. J&J did not provide any information on the length of the break.

Read more: Pharmaceutical giant J&J just launched a 60,000-person pivotal coronavirus vaccine trial, and we may find out if the shot works by the end of 2020

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