Friday, April 23, 2021

Challenge trial for Covid-19 reinfection, in Britain.

A second round of (controvesial) challenge trials is being conducted in England, this one designed to assess how susceptible are people to reinfection with Covid-19, after recovering from it once.

The WSJ has the story 

Covid-19 ‘Challenge Trial’ Will Purposely Reinfect Adults. Dozens of quarantined volunteers in U.K. to receive coronavirus in study focused on reinfection  By Jenny Strasburg

"University of Oxford scientists plan to reinfect dozens of adult volunteers with the coronavirus in the second U.K. clinical trial to study deliberate Covid-19 infection in quarantine—this time among people who have already recovered from the virus.

"Such “human challenge” trials are controversial because they involve intentionally infecting healthy humans, and the U.K. is the only country so far conducting them with Covid-19, researchers said.


"The first Covid-19 challenge study, led by Imperial College London infectious-disease researchers, started in March with a handful of volunteers isolated inside London’s Royal Free Hospital, part of the state-funded National Health Service. That study received a pledge of more than $45 million from the U.K. government.


"the U.S. and other countries have steered clear of purposely infecting healthy people with the coronavirus. Critics argue the risks aren’t justified, given the broad presence of naturally circulating virus and the success of vaccines already available.


"Challenge-trial proponents argue there is no substitute for the precision of controlled studies. They have been used for decades to study diseases including typhoid, malaria and tuberculosis and to develop vaccines. With Covid-19, Prof. McShane told journalists in a briefing last week, “We don’t know whether someone has not been infected because they haven’t been exposed or [because] they have protective immunity.” Controlling exposure will help with those questions, she said.


"Volunteers will be tracked for a year. They will be paid around £5,000, equivalent to $6,917, for their time in quarantine and for follow-ups, Prof. McShane said."


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