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Video: UK Wants To Test COVID-19 Vaccine On Infected Volunteers
2023 Author: Abraham Higgins | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 23:16
UK wants to test COVID-19 vaccine on infected volunteers
A radical measure in the race for a vaccine drew controversy from the scientific community
Photo: Judy Schmidt / CDC
The question of deliberately infecting volunteers for coronavirus vaccine trials has arisen due to the fact that the current incidence rate in the UK is too low for a full trial of the drug in a short time. According to The Guardian, according to the latest data, about 7% of the population have been infected. Therefore, some researchers are pushing for health officials to agree to an alternative measure to accelerate vaccine development.
“The infection rate in the UK is on the decline, and if the coronavirus behaves like all respiratory diseases, then the incidence rate will decrease even more in the summer. The people secreting the virus will not be enough to participate in vaccine trials,”Professor Lawrence Young of Warwick University Medical School told The Guardian.
In early May, the World Health Organization released a document outlining ethical guidelines for human testing of a COVID-19 vaccine. WHO admits the possibility of research on infected people as an emergency measure, subject to a number of essential conditions: voluntary participation, awareness of possible consequences, etc. In addition, trials should include people with the lowest risk of severe illness between the ages of 18 and 30. According to the latest data, only 1% of cases in this age group required hospitalization, and the mortality rate was about 0.03%.
According to Lawrence Young, if the government approves tests on infected volunteers, only young healthy people under the age of 25 will participate in them. Similar studies have already been conducted to test the effectiveness of influenza vaccines, he said. The scientists also stressed that before starting trials on infected volunteers, it is necessary to develop the most effective therapy for treating coronavirus in order to minimize the risks for participants.
"The research will be conducted in specialized facilities with close monitoring and the ability to provide early diagnosis and supportive treatment for participants," Young said.
The initiative to test the vaccine on infected volunteers was supported by Jonathan Ives of the Center for Ethics in Medicine at Bristol University.
“It's about asking healthy people to compromise their health and wellbeing for the good of society. But the move could speed up vaccine development and save many lives. I think we can go for it,”Ives said.
Meanwhile, immunologist Eleanor Riley, professor at Edinburgh University, categorically rejected this idea, stressing that now no one can guarantee that the most important conditions for such tests will be met.
“First, the virus and its clinical behavior must be studied in detail. It also shouldn't cause serious illness in healthy people, or researchers should have a highly effective drug to treat the infection. None of these criteria meet COVID-19 today,”the scientist said.
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