Human Challenge Trial: UK to infect healthy volunteers to study COVID-19 vaccines

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

18th Feb, 2021. 09:07 am
coronavirus Pakistan

In a rare move, the United Kingdom (UK) will be the first country to deliberately infect healthy volunteers with coronavirus.

According to the media reports, the effort ‘human challenge trial,’ is funded by the British government and aims to accelerate scientific understanding of vaccines and treatments.

The first stage will see up to 90 adults, aged 18 to 30, exposed to the coronavirus “in a safe and controlled environment” to gauge the smallest amount of virus needed to cause infection, the government said in a statement.

The UK government has said that in succeeding stages it hopes to quickly assess vaccines and conduct head-to-head comparisons.

According to the estimates, more than 15 million people in the UK have already received at least one jab against the novel coronavirus.

Health experts in Britain are of the view that the human challenge trials could give us the potential to test new vaccines very quickly, which is the primary purpose of this effort.

In the trials, the volunteers in the first study will receive about £4500 (NZ$8683) for their participation, which will involve 17 days of quarantining at the Royal Free Hospital in north London and follow-ups over 12 months.

The study involves quite an imposition on a young person, 17 days in quarantine when you cannot be visited by any member of your family or friend or relative.

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