... tests with the use of deliberate infection of those willing to verify the effectiveness of the action - this is a controversial method that in most cases is not approved, but it seems that this time it will be different. Scientists from the UK have informed that they will start such a program in January next year and will initially only invite young and healthy volunteers to participate in it to verify how small doses of the virus lead to the acute course of the disease. As we well know, under normal conditions, vaccine production takes a very long time and only at the last stage larger groups are vaccinated to verify the effectiveness - only in a very specific way, because the vaccinated people simply return to normal life and are monitored for many months, and then the number of infections is compared between this group and the unvaccinated placebo group.
One way to speed up the work is through the deliberate exposure of vaccinated people to the virus, but it is highly ethically controversial and is rarely used for fear of insufficient knowledge to keep participants safe. In the case of Covid-19, the situation is so difficult that similar ideas appear literally from the beginning of the pandemic and it seems that they will finally come into force, because the British government is ready to issue the appropriate approvals. The Human Challenge Program, as this initiative will be called, will be conducted by the combined forces of Imperial College London, the UK National Health Service and hVIVO, an organization that has been dealing with similar tests for 30 years and co-financed by the government with USD 43.5 million.
The first step will be a virus characterization study where young and healthy volunteers will be infected with SARS-CoV-2 to see how much virus is needed to cause Covid-19. It will be held at the isolated Royal Free Hospital, will cover approximately 90 people aged 18-30 and will run until May. By then, scientists hope to get all the data they need and start testing vaccine efficacy, but as the researchers point out at every step, volunteer safety is a priority: "My team has been testing other viruses causing respiratory problems for over 10 world top tech No research is completely risk-free, but with the Human Challenge Program, partners will work hard to minimize them, they explain. Scientists are already looking for test takers, and they can register for the UK COVID Challenge.