COVID-19 Challenge Trials Preparing to Recruit
Imperial College London is starting to prepare the way for human challenge trials for COVID-19 vaccines. The UK government has pledged 33.6 million pounds to the study, which will recruit healthy volunteers between 18 and 30 who have not had any prior COVID symptoms.
If the project is given regulatory approval, it will be the first challenge trial for a COVID vaccine or treatment. Beginning in January, the volunteers will be quarantines in London's Royal Free Hospital for a few weeks, depending on how they react to the virus. Similar programs are being developed in the US and Belgium.
Considerations for the study include the obvious ethical considerations, along with practical data such as how little of the virus researchers can give to volunteers in order to elicit an immune response.