Johnson & Johnson, one of the first American pharmaceutical companies to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, paused its clinical trial on Oct. 12 due to an illness in one of the study's 60,000 patients. The next day, Eli Lilly, another pharmaceutical, paused its 300-person trial of a potential COVID-19 treatment which mimics the body's natural immune response to the disease, due to a safety concern from the FDA.
Both pauses were natural parts of the scientific process; as clinical trials include hundreds (or even thousands) of people, scientists must take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of their patients. Pauses are usually not communicated to the public, but as American institutions race to bring safe vaccines and life-saving treatments to the public, every small hurdle in this complicated process is under immense scrutiny.
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