UK Volunteers To Get COVID In Vax “Challenge Trials”

The Guardian reports:

More than £30m of UK government money is to fund the world’s first Covid-19 “challenge trials”, in which healthy young volunteers are intentionally infected with the virus to hasten the development of a vaccine. The trials have the potential to yield results more quickly than conventional vaccine field trials in which researchers must wait for participants to get infected in the real world.

These studies can also be used to compare multiple vaccine candidates, develop treatments and gather data about the immediate aftermath of infection that would not be possible to procure otherwise. The use of such trials dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the English physician Edward Jenner inoculated a young boy with cowpox virus and then exposed him to smallpox as part of an effort that led to the world’s first vaccine.

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