Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has suspended its clinical trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine after a patient fell ill.
In a statement published yesterday, Johnson & Johnson announced that it has temporarily suspended its clinical operations “due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.”
The advanced clinical trial is currently in Phase Three and was preparing to enroll local participants in California prior to it being paused.
In its announcement, the pharmaceutical giants did not specify what adverse effects the patient experienced as a result of falling ill.
“We must respect this participant’s privacy. We’re also learning more about this participant’s illness, and it’s important to have all the facts before we share additional information,” it said.
“Adverse events, even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.”
Last month, a vaccine trial developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and which has been promised to Malta, was also put on hold after a patient fell ill.
In this case, it was believed that the patient developed a case of transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that has a known, but very rare, association with vaccination.
The trial resumed just days later following a safety review.
Earlier this year, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that Malta has been allocated a total of 330,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine, which will make it one of the first countries to protect its vulnerable and frontliners.
Fearne also noted that Malta will secure more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be made available for the rest of the population.
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