Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial as participant becomes ill

Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial as participant becomes ill”

Pakistan hopes to acquire a COVID-19 vaccine within the next six months.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday asserted that vaccine against the novel coronavirus is expected in India by early next year, i.e, 2021. However, COVID-19 has forced researchers to fast-track the vaccine - making process.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced it has paused dosing in all its COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials after an unexplained illness in a study participant. "These ensure our studies may be paused if an unexpected serious adverse event (SAE) that might be related to a vaccine or study drug is reported, so there can be a careful review of all of the medical information before deciding whether to restart the study", the company statement further said.

The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have reached large-scale final tests in the US.

The company said on Monday that this was "due to an unexplained illness in a study participant", but it did not give details about the symptoms.

A panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation observed that there was not enough data available on the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, which has already been registered for use in Russian Federation.

More news: Two Americans win Nobel prize in economics for inventing new auction formats

"But with less than 0.5% of people on the NHS Vaccine Registry from a black background, we have a lot more work to do".

Six different coronavirus vaccines are now being developed in the United Kingdom, however thousands of people from different ages and backgrounds are needed to help speed up the process, the BEIS said.

The pharmaceutical giant began conducting a trial for a COVID-19 vaccination involving 60,000 patients.

Participants will be given either the BCG vaccine, now provided to more than 100 million babies worldwide each year, including in India, to protect against TB or a placebo injection.

Among the trials paused was Johnson & Johnson's multi-country "ENSEMBLE" vaccine, which entered Phase 3 testing in September.

The AIIMS chief said that the big challenge after the vaccine is developed will be its production and distribution on such a large scale.

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