New Delhi: Johnson & Johnson said it has temporarily paused its COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials due to an unexplained illness in a study participant. Also Read - Schools, Colleges Reopening: This BJP-ruled State Hints at Resumption of Classes Soon | Read Govt's Complete Plan Here

The participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated by an independent data and safety monitoring board as well as the company’s clinical and safety physicians, the company said in a statement. Also Read - Barely Two Days After Reopening, Vrindavan's Bankey Bihari Temple Shut Indefinitely Amid COVID-19 Threat

It, however, refused to reveal further details about the illness, citing the participant’s privacy. Also Read - India is 'Very Inspiring', Its Research, Manufacturing Critical to Fighting COVID-19, Says Bill Gates

Earlier, pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca had“voluntarily paused” the clinical human trials of its vaccine candidate ‘Covishield’ with the University of Oxford after one of the volunteers developed an unexpected illness. However, later the study was resumed in a number of countries, following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so.

Reports had claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Johnson & Johnson produced a strong immune response against novel coronavirus in early-to-mid stage clinical trials.

According to the CNN, early results from a Phase 1/2a clinical trial show that it was well tolerated and even one dose appeared to produce a strong immune response in almost all of the 800 participants.

Initial findings from the trials suggest that the vaccine does provoke an immune response and is safe enough to move into large-scale trials.

Johnson & Johnson was aiming to enroll 60,000 volunteers to prove if its single-dose approach is safe and protects against the coronavirus. Other vaccine candidates in the US require two shots.