In a series of "human challenge" COVID-19 trials, young and healthy volunteers would deliberately contract the respiratory illness to accelerate the creation of vaccines. 

The United Kingdom government would contribute to funding the trials.

According to the British government on Tuesday, it will invest 33.6 million pounds ($43.5 million) in the dubbed "human challenge" clinical trials in cooperation with laboratory and trial services company hVIVO, Imperial College London, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

According to the government, upon approval of supervisors and an ethics committee, the studies would ensue in January 2021, with results anticipated by May 2021.

The UK's hVIVO stated that one unit of pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan would be launching preliminary work for the trials, reported 7NEWS.

An estimated 2,000 people in Britain have signed up as volunteers to be administered one from an array of experimental vaccines. They would receive a dose of the novel coronavirus under controlled circumstances.

A Brave Act

While other British citizens are donning face masks and isolating at home to alleviate the coronavirus, a 22-year-old Londoner named Danica Marcos has volunteered to be infected with COVID-19 as part of a controversial study aiming to accelerate the vaccine creation. 

Marcos and other young people remarked that they would like to help stop the pandemic upon witnessing it ravaging the world.

According to Marcos, "So many people (are) struggling right now, and I want this pandemic to be over. Every day that goes on, more cases are going on, more people are dying," reported SFGATE.

Also Read: COVID-19 Likely to Become as 'Endemic' as the Flu

She added, "And if this vaccine trial could mean that this period of trauma for the whole world will be over sooner, I want to help. I want to be a part of that."

A maximum of 90 healthy people would purportedly be exposed to the virus.

According to experts, safety is the top priority, and such plans would require ethical approval and sign-off from supervisors before it could be conducted.


This research type, named human challenge study, is used rarely because some regard the risk involved in allowing otherwise healthy individuals to contracting the illness as unethical. 

However, according to researchers, dashing to tackle COVID-19 indicated that risk is warranted. This is because such studies have the capacity to immediately identify the most efficacious vaccines and help mitigate a global health crisis with 1.1 million people fatalities.

Through controlled doses of the virus, the goal of the research team would initially be to detect the most minuscule amount of virus necessary to result in a COVID-19 infection in small clusters of healthy, young people from 18 to 30 years old. 

The scientists leading the studies stated in a briefing that the age bracket is at the bottom risk of harm.

According to Imperial College's Chris Chiu, lead researcher on the human challenge study, the clinical trials could bolster the understanding of COVID-19 in remarkable ways to speed up the creation of numerous probable new treatments and vaccines.

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