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COVID-19 vaccine trial paused over participant's illness

A phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial by global company Johnson and Johnson involving 60,000 participants has been halted after a participant fell inexplicably ill.

According to a statement, the study that only launched last month has been temporarily halted as they evaluate the patient’s illness although they didn’t specify whether the particular patient was receiving the active drug or the placebo. 

“We are committed to providing transparent updates throughout the clinical development process of our vaccine candidate. Adverse events, illnesses, accidents even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies”, the statement reads

The study meant to determine the efficacy and safety of an investigational vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 has enrolled people aged 18-years and older who are expected to participate for a period of up to two years.

On his part, Alex Gorsky, chairman and chief executive officer, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement shared on the company website that they are bringing to bear their best scientific minds and rigorous standards of safety in collaboration with regulators to accelerate the fight against the pandemic.

Some of the countries participating in the trial are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States. Participants are between the ages of 18 and 60 years. 

However, this halt is not the first as the world searches for an effective vaccine. Last month another pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University temporarily stopped tests of its vaccine over the same reasons of a participant developing an unexplained illness.

But, this trial has been resumed in many countries. 

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