With the world eagerly awaiting the arrival of an effective vaccine for COVID-19, two major studies currently being conducted have recently been paused. The reason behind the pause is to investigate certain safety concerns moving forward. This is important because the efficacy and integrity of the vaccine are at stake. At the same time, it should not come as a surprise that such a major study has been paused. This happens quite frequently.
A pause can be triggered by any number of adverse events that take place amongst either participants in the study or the researchers themselves. It is most commonly the result of an unexplained illness or an accident. The first delay was initiated by Johnson and Johnson. They are conducting a phase 3 trial that includes 60,000 adults in several different countries. Just a day later, Eli Lilly also paused their study of a vaccine study aimed at stopping the virus from infecting cells in the human body. Both companies will inform the public when the studies can resume.