British Participants Will Get Injected Directly With Coronavirus To Test The Effectiveness Of The Vaccine


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To test the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine made in the UK, British volunteers are going to be purposely infected with the virus.

This is the first trial of its kind where volunteers will be given doses of the potential Coronavirus vaccine and will be injected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which is behind the global pandemic a month later.

The studies named human challenge trials will start in January 2021. These studies are funded by the government, says FT.

As per the reports, the trials will be held in a secure facility in Whitechapel, east London. Nearly 2,000 volunteers in the UK have signed up to participate in the trials so far.

According to a government spokesperson, they are hoping to team up with the development of a potential vaccine doing these human challenge studies.

They also said that this is a part of the process to research methods of ‘treating, limiting, and hopefully preventing the virus so we can end the pandemic sooner.’

Trials that use the method of exposing humans to a virus must get the approval of the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and an independent research committee before doing so.

These types of trials are extremely controversial as young and healthy humans are put under risk of being exposed to the virus. According to experts and doctors, this process is against medical ethics.

This can also cause long-term COVID symptoms in the volunteers which are very similar to chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the officials planning to conduct the challenge trials, these trials will enable them to test the effectiveness of the vaccine faster than any other technique.

The objective of these trials is to find out if the vaccine prevents people from getting infected or they just lighten the intensity of the symptoms.

The clinical lecturer in infectious diseases at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Claire Waddington assured that the trials are the best way to ‘accelerate the development of vaccines.’

She explained that this is not the first time this kind of event is taking place and typhoid affected countries conducted similar types of trials while creating a vaccine for it.

She added that as time passes and the scientists gain more insight on the virus they can easily identify those who had mild illness due to the disease and those individuals can be the part of the trials after a thorough medical assessment and consent process.

She further said that this method could provide the scientists with valuable information ‘on how the immune system responds to COVID and what responses are protective’ helping them on the safety measures.

The MHRA said that the safety of the trail volunteers is their biggest priority and this kind of trial from any vaccine developer ‘would be considered on a benefit-risk basis’. The risks will be monitored by them in the trial design.