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.

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FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment

A production line of Remdesivir. Photo: Fadel Dawood/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences on Thursday received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has shown modest results against treating COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the first and only fully FDA-approved drug in the U.S. for treating the coronavirus.

The pandemic is getting worse again

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.

Updated 17 hours ago - World

France becomes 2nd Western European country to top 1M coronavirus cases

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Seine Saint Denis prefecture headquarters in Paris, on Tuesday. Photo: Ludovic Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

France has become the second country in Western Europe to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, Johns Hopkins University data shows

The big picture: France had reported 1,000,369 cases and 34,075 deaths from the coronavirus by Thursday morning, per JHU. French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of health emergency and imposed a curfew on virus hot spots earlier this month. Spain on Wednesday became the first Western European nation to top 1 million cases.