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COVID-19 cure: Dozens of healthy people volunteered to be infected with coronavirus for the vaccine research trial in the UK

Photo by: Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Volunteers in the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine trial research have agreed to be infected with the virus. They volunteered to help find something that will help people become immune to the highly contagious disease that is currently gripping the world today.

The controversial trial method to find the coronavirus vaccine

This trial research has been dubbed as the “human challenge” since it involves a deliberate infection of healthy people to find an effective vaccine and possible COVID-19 cure. But then, while many have taken the challenge by volunteering themselves for the trial, some people are questioning its value.

This method of testing possible vaccines has now become controversial because it may not be ethical and safe. Researchers in the U.K. are the first to try this technique of studying the disease and develop potential vaccines by infecting volunteers, as per the Imperial College London.

“Human challenge studies can increase our understanding of COVID-19 in unique ways and accelerate the development of the many potential new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines,” lead researcher from the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, Dr, Chris Chiu, said. “Our number one priority is the safety of the volunteers. My team has been safely running human challenge studies with other respiratory viruses for over 10 years.”

Ensuring the safety of the volunteers and government support

He added that all researches are not risk-free so this “human challenge” for the COVID-19 vaccine is common. He assured though that they will be working with partners in the program to make sure that the risk will be very low.

“The UK’s experience and expertise in human challenge trials as well as in wider COVID-19 science will help us tackle the pandemic,” he added. “This will be beneficial for people in the UK and worldwide."

At any rate, this trial will be strictly reviewed by the ethics committee before volunteers are officially enrolled in the research. They will also seek approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before proceeding with the “human challenge” study trial for vaccines.

Finally, as per ABC7 News, the U.K. government is planning to invest £33.6 million or $43.4 million in this research.

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