Johnson & Johnson temporarily paused Phase 3 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine on Monday after one participant experienced what the company termed “an unexplained illness.”
The multinational maker of packaged consumer goods, medical devices and pharmaceuticals declined to provide details about the reaction or illness, leaving the public and thousands of other trial participants in the dark.
In a press release, the company said its decision to withhold details was made out of respect for the trial participant’s privacy. But the company also said the illness “might be related to a vaccine.”
According to Johnson & Johnson’s clinical trial guidelines, trials are paused only if participants experience a vaccine-related adverse event. The Phase 3 study began on Sept. 23 with researchers planning to enroll 60,000 participants in the U.S. and other countries.