COVID-19 vaccine trial halted after participant becomes ill

COVID-19 vaccine trial halted after participant becomes ill

Johnson and Johnson is halting their COVID-19 vaccine trial after one of the participants developed an "unexplained illness."

The pharmaceutical company's trial was in one of the most advanced stages out of out of the dozens of vaccines currently in development to address the global pandemic. The drugmaker declined to give details on the illness out of respect for the participant's privacy.

"Following our guidelines, the participant's illness is being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians," the company said in a statement. ENSEMBLE is the name of the study.

This is the second Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial to be paused in the US. AstraZeneca's vaccine trial was paused last month because of a neurological complication in a volunteer in Britain, but has resumed in other countries. The US FDA is currently reviewing AstraZeneca's study, and has not cleared it for continuation in the United States.

The Johnson and Johnson Phase 3 trials had begun in late September, the final phase prior to public release. The trial included 60,000 volunteers, and was touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci as being a strong candidate for late 2020 release. 

Fauci said some companies could know late October, November or December if their vaccines work and are safe.