One of the forerunners in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021, Johnson & Johnson has had to halt vaccine trials after a subject came down with an “unexplained illness.”
Johnson & Johnson announced on Monday that it is pausing all trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine due to the sudden unexplained illness of a study volunteer. Prior to the incident, Johnson and Johnson had been making decent headway in the process of developing a vaccine safe for public administration, with a final-stage, 60,000-person clinical trial of the vaccine having begun in September.
The subject’s condition is being reviewed by an independent safety monitoring committee, at present. Complications such as this one are to be expected during experimental vaccine trials; in fact, fellow pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca had to pause its own vaccine trials after two subjects came down with unexplained illnesses, one of which was revealed to be a pre-existing condition, unrelated to the vaccine. AstraZeneca has since resumed trials in all countries except the U.S., in which it is working with the FDA to ensure all necessary precautions are taken to proceed with safety.
“This is the largest vaccine study that’s out there,” Mr. Wolk, J&J’s Chief Financial Officer said, earlier this morning. “It’s endeavoring to study 60,000 patients. When you have a study of that size, it’s not uncommon to see unexpected illnesses within the population. That’s for any drug across any therapeutic area. This is something that’s not foreign in the development process.”
Further details on the participant’s sickness have yet to be revealed, in a bid to respect the subject’s privacy until the problem can be precisely identified.
Having contracted COVID-19 sometime in the past couple of weeks, Donald Trump is allegedly already back in good health and high spirits, already parading his believed "immunity" from the virus as he returns to the campaign trail. Elsewhere, Elon Musk is adamant his family will not be taking any Coronavirus vaccine.