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Photo: Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Monday has paused a study of its COVID-19 vaccine due to an "unexplained illness in a study participant.

Situational awareness: "This is the normal process. This doesn't mean the illness is related to the vaccine. But these things need to get investigated by an independent committee. Happens in many Phase III trials," Florian Krammer, a professor at School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, noted on Twitter.

  • The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine study was put on hold in early September after a study participant in the United Kingdom had a suspected adverse reaction. The study resumed in the U.K. roughly a week later, but remains on hold in the U.S., per STAT.
  • Johnson & Johnson emphasized its study was paused and not under a "clinical hold," which STAT noted is "a formal regulatory action that can last much longer."
  • The company noted in its statement that "it is not always immediately apparent" if the patient who became sick took the drug or a placebo.

The state of play: Johnson & Johnson began Phase III of its trial on Sept. 23, with the goal of enrolling 60,000 patients.

  • It was the 4th vaccine in the U.S. to enter Phase 3.

Go deeper: Where the vaccine race stands in the U.S.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Johnson & Johnson's statement.

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.