Nearly 2,000 sign up for human trials for Covid-19 vaccine.





Nearly 2,000 people from more than 40 countries have registered to take part in a controversial human trial to speed up development of a coronavirus vaccine, science journal Nature reported today.

The exercise, known as a “human-challenge trial,” would see healthy young volunteers deliberately infected with the virus.

This would allow faster progress than typical vaccine trials, which take longer because they involve thousands of people receiving a vaccine or placebo and researchers then tracking those who become infected.

A challenge study involves a much smaller group receiving a potential vaccine and then being infected with the virus to determine the effectiveness of the immunisation.

The 1DaySooner grassroots effort co-founded by Josh Morrison had signed up 1,754 people from 44 different countries as of today, which he said indicated “broad support” for the initiative.

Mr Morrison said that most of those volunteering are young people from “urban areas” who want to do something to tackle the virus.

“Many note that they recognise the risk but believe the benefits of vaccine acceleration are so tremendous that it is worth it to them,” he said.

Similar studies have been conducted in the past to find vaccines against diseases including influenza and malaria.

But the practice remains controversial, with the World Health Organisation urging caution.

Bioethicist Nir Eyal, writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases last month, argued that human challenge trials could be conducted safely and ethically.

Clinical trials are already under way at the Luis Diaz hospital in Cuba, using a drug called CIGB 2020, which aims to activate the immune system, on volunteers suspected of having coronavirus.

Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology research director Dr Gerardo Guillen said that the initial results were “encouraging.”

(From: Morning Star)

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