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'Human Challenge Studies': UK Mulls Injecting Volunteers with Coronavirus to Test Vaccines

Nurse Isabelli Guasso administers potential vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to volunteer. (Reuters)

Nurse Isabelli Guasso administers potential vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to volunteer. (Reuters)

Peter Horby, professor at the Oxford University, said that he thought the trial is a good idea with real potential to advance science and get a better understanding of the disease.

The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid 'challenge trials', where healthy volunteers would be deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines, a report said.

According to the BBC, the UK government said that it is discussing developing a vaccine through such "human challenge studies". No contracts have yet been signed.

Alastair Fraser-Urquhart, an 18-year-old university student, is planning to volunteer for the trial if it is given the green light to go ahead.

"I think the challenge trial has the potential to save thousands of lives and really bring the world out of the pandemic sooner. It is just something that made instant sense to me," AFraser-Urquhart was quoted as saying in the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Speaking on the same programme, Peter Horby, professor at the Oxford University, said the trial is a good idea with real potential to advance science and get a better understanding of the disease.

Horby said that the volunteers would be observed very closely and their immune systems will be monitored to see their response to the virus.

According to the report, the health of the volunteers would be monitored round the clock at a clinical research facility in London.

first published:September 24, 2020, 20:10 IST