Johnson & Johnson, a medical device company participating in the race of creating a COVID-19 vaccine, announced Monday that it had to halt its trials on the coronavirus vaccine due to an “unexplained illness” affecting a trial participant.
The company didn’t release any information about the illness other than they were ‘evaluating’ the situation.
“We are committed to providing transparent updates throughout the clinical development process of our vaccine candidate,” Johnson & Johnson said in its statement. “Adverse events – illnesses, accidents, etc. – even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.”
The company’s announcement follows after a similar statement from AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company that operates COVID-19 vaccine trials in several countries, last month. The company cautioned at the time that the illness might have been unrelated to the vaccine trials.
“As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data,” AstraZeneca said in September.
“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the company added.
Several medical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies have received federal funding for their vaccine efforts as part of “Operation Warp Speed,” the White House’s efforts aimed at securing an American-made COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020.