Study Pauses Are More Common, Essential To Clinical Trials

Oct 15, 2020

Study pauses normally don't make headlines but pauses associated with potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are in the spotlight.
Credit (Pixabay)

Eli Lilly paused trials of its COVID-19 treatment drug Tuesday. The news came less than a day after Johnson & Johnson also paused its trial on a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, Purdue University virology professor Suresh Mittal said that whether or not a vaccine trial has study pauses, doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not the pause was caused by the vaccine in question. He said that’s what pauses help researchers investigate. 

He said as far as a timeline for how long pauses can last, depends on each trial and how quickly researches can find the answers they need for things such as unexplained illnesses.

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Mittal said we don't normally hear about study pauses because of the number of clinical trials going on at any given time, and because they're a normal part of the process. He said we're hearing more about pauses related to COVID-19 because of the need for effective medications. 

“We are hearing this one in public a lot, because everyone [is] concerned," he said. "Everyone is watching them.”

Mittal said more often than not, there will be various pauses during any vaccine trial, mostly because participants are all different, and different environments can have different effects.

Contact reporter Bárbara at banguiano@lakeshorepublicmedia or follow her on Twitter at @radiospice219.