In an attempt to find a cure, Britain is now planning to step up a phase, where they will host clinical trials where volunteers will be deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to test effectiveness of the vaccine candidates. This so called “challenge trials” are expected to begin from January at a quarantine facility in London, the Financial Times reported. Till now about 2,000 participants had already volunteered themselves for the project through a US based advocacy group, 1Day Sooner.
“We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a COVID-19 vaccine through human challenge studies. 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,” a government spokeswoman said. These specific studies will be funded by the government but apart from that 1Day Sooner said it would also launch a petition for public funding a biocontainment facility that has the capacity to hold 100 to 200 participants for the trial.
However any trials conducted in the UK would have to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the healthcare regulator which looks into safety and protocol. But it has not publicised any regulations to clarify the trial process. The Financial Times has also not named the vaccines that are to be used in the trials.
Source : Al Jazeera