Sunday, February 21, 2021

Human infection challenge trials for Covid vaccine to move forward in UK

 The BBC has this story:

Covid-19: World's first human trials given green light in UK

"Healthy, young volunteers will be infected with coronavirus to test vaccines and treatments in the world's first Covid-19 "human challenge" study, which will take place in the UK.

"The study, which has received ethics approval, will start in the next few weeks and recruit 90 people aged 18-30.

"They will be exposed to the virus in a safe and controlled environment while medics monitor their health.


"The Human Challenge study is being delivered by a partnership between the UK government's Vaccines Taskforce, Imperial College London, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the company hVIVO, which has pioneered viral human challenge models.Clive Dix, interim chair of the Vaccines Taskforce, said: "We have secured a number of safe and effective vaccines for the UK, but it is essential that we continue to develop new vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

"We expect these studies to offer unique insights into how the virus works and help us understand which promising vaccines offer the best chance of preventing the infection."


"Initially, the study will use the virus that has been circulating in the UK since the pandemic began in March, which is of low risk to healthy adults, to deliberately infect volunteers.

"In time, a small numbers of volunteers are likely to be given an approved vaccine and then exposed to the new variants, helping scientists to find out the most effective jabs - but this phase of the study has not yet been given the go-ahead."

HT: Tom Darton


And here's a story from the NY Times, which touches on the issue of compensation for participants (and the associated debate about whether that is repugnant):

U.K. Approves Study That Will Deliberately Infect Volunteers With Coronavirus. Researchers hope to learn things about how the immune system responds to the coronavirus that would be impossible outside a lab.  By Benjamin Mueller

"After being exposed to the virus, the participants will be isolated for two weeks in the hospital. For that and the year’s worth of follow-up appointments that are planned, they will be paid 4,500 pounds, or about $6,200. The researchers said that would compensate people for time away from jobs or families without creating too large an economic incentive for people to participate."


Related posts on challenge trials:

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