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December 21, 20 - 11:35 am - Reuters

J&J’s Latam COVID vaccine trial, a rush to recruit is followed by disappointment: Reuters

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson abruptly called for an end to enrollment in its coronavirus vaccine trial and told scientists from six Latin American countries to wrap up their work within 48 hours, two researchers told Reuters.

According to Reuters, the halt was due to J&J’s decision, announced later on that same day on Dec. 9, to cap the number of participants at about 40,000 people globally, down from a previous plan for 60,000.

The drugmaker said that a surge in coronavirus cases in the areas it was testing would give it enough data to vet the vaccine, reported the media outlet.

J&J told Reuters it would not comment on its enrollment beyond a Friday statement that said the trial had closed.

Peru, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia had all offered to participate in the trial, hoping that would give them preferential access to J&J’s vaccine in the global race to stockpile doses. J&J told Reuters in September that those hosting trials would have priority for vaccine supply.

Now some in government circles and the public health community fear those deals could be compromised. And local researchers have been left wondering whether they will be fully compensated for their investment in incomplete trials, reported Reuters.