Researchers in the United Kingdom continue to push for running “human challenge” studies where 90 healthy people would be given COVID-19 to help measure the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, BBC News reports.
- The trials will reportedly begin in January.
- The government will support the tests by providing £33.6 million ($43.4 million) to researchers.
- Safety is still a priority for the researchers. The researchers will need to receive ethical approval from regulators before they can start these trials.
- “Human challenge studies provide a faster way to test vaccines because you don’t have to wait for people to be exposed to an illness naturally,” according to BBC News.
Back in August, the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy said it was working with various partners to figure out a way to develop a plan to make sure this works, as I wrote about for Deseret.
- “We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a COVID-19 vaccine through human challenge studies,” a government spokesperson said, according to CNN.
- “These discussions are part of our work to research ways of treating, limiting and hopefully preventing the virus so we can end the pandemic sooner,” the spokesperson said.
The challenge trials would give researchers a clear indications about whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine can work. Similar trials have been run for small pox, yellow fever and malaria vaccines, CNN reports.