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Young volunteers will be infected with the coronavirus in clinical trials of drugs and vaccines in the UK


In clinical trials in the UK, young volunteers will be infected with the virus to test drugs and vaccines used against coronavirus-induced Covid-19 disease. The UK will be the first country to implement such an application.

A study involving 90 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 who have received ethical approval for virus transmission will begin in the coming weeks.

Volunteers will be exposed to the coronavirus under the supervision of health workers.

The number of people vaccinated against Covid in the UK has exceeded 15 million.

The method of deliberate transmission of viruses or bacteria that cause these diseases has previously been used to develop treatments for diseases such as malaria, typhoid, plague, and influenza.

Researchers will look at how many coronaviruses cause infection and how the immune system responds.

In this way, doctors will have more information about Covid-19 disease, and this information will be used in the development of vaccines and treatments against the disease.

Clinical studies; The British government’s Vaccination Working Group will be led by Imperial College University, Royal Free Hospital and a company called hVIVO, which develops intentional virus transmission models.

Clive Dix from the Vaccination Working Group said, “While we have guaranteed some reliable and effective vaccines for the UK, new vaccines and drugs against Covid-19 need to be developed.

“Through these tests, we will learn how the virus works and understand which vaccines will best prevent infection.”


Review: James Gallagher – BBC Health and Science Correspondent

Although there are vaccines known to be effective against Covid-19, why are such clinical trials needed and what questions are being answered?

  • How many viruses are needed for the infection to start?
  • How does the immune system react to the first defense?
  • Can it be determined who will show symptoms or not?

In addition, new vaccines are available, and new coronavirus variants are emerging as a result of mutation.

Because a significant portion of the population in the UK will be vaccinated, it will be more difficult to test Covid in the future.

However, such clinical trials involving a small number of volunteers will answer some important questions, such as comparing later vaccines with previous vaccines or whether the vaccines do not protect against new variants.


Dr. “We ask volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 to participate in this study and help us understand how the virus is transmitted to humans and how it spreads among people,” Chris Chiu said.

Volunteers will be tested to determine if they are healthy and if they have not been infected before.

The virus will then be injected into the nose and quarantined in the hospital for 14 days and will be closely monitored by medical teams.

We will look at how the virus spreads to the nose and how the initial stage of infection develops before symptoms appear.

Volunteers will be paid £ 4,500 ($ 6,230) per year for testing and follow-up time.

Initially, the coronavirus circulating in the UK will be used when the epidemic starts in March. This virus is known to have a low risk for healthy people.

One of the approved vaccines will then be given to a small number of volunteers, and these people will then be exposed to new options to see which vaccine is more effective. However, this clinical trial has not yet been confirmed.

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