Johnson & Johnson made clear that holding off further enrollment to evaluate an illness during a trial is common, and that there is a "significant distinction between a study pause and a regulatory hold of a clinical trial". This is because researchers still assess safety risks of the vaccine. Russia's teachers union even started an online petition calling on its members to refuse the vaccination until clinical trials are complete.
With a second wave of coronavirus cases sweeping Russian Federation and threatening to overwhelm hospitals, the Kremlin also needs the vaccine domestically as it battles record daily infection rates while seeking to avoid a repeat of a nationwide lockdown in the spring that battered the country's economy. That includes content that disputes the existence of COVID-19, discourages people from seeking medical treatment for the disease, and videos explicitly denying the efficacy of social distancing and self-isolation recommendations from health authorities that may lead people to act against those guidelines.
Former director of CDC said that the postponement in clinical trials should not cause worry to the American public, as reported by a CNBC report.
Frieden added that this ensures that vaccine makers are not cutting corners on ensuring the vaccines' safety. They'll also need a data management system to track who received an initial vaccine dose and to remind them to come back for their second dose. This was after an adverse event in a participant.
Johnson & Johnson officials also emphasize that the person who got sick could have been taking the placebo.
The news comes at a time when AstraZeneca also temporarily paused its vaccine testing after one of their participants fell ill.
Nevertheless, the United Kingdom regulators and other countries have allowed to continue. When the CDC announced the October deadline last month, critics feared political pressure could hurt the process as President Trump repeatedly promised that a vaccine would be ready soon.