The numbers of the infected people with COVID-19 are off the charts in the United States, and they don’t show significant signs of decreasing in the case of other countries as well. While the world is still dealing with this terrifying scourge, urgent decisions are needed. While pessimistic scenarios claim that an efficient vaccine for the new coronavirus will be developed in several years, we can hope that we’ll get one a lot sooner.
Scientists such as 15 Nobel laureates had already begun to invite people to get exposed to the disease deliberately so that a vaccine will be tested. The scientists signed an open letter to Dr. Francis Collins for that matter, the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S.
The development of a vaccine would be accelerated
Time seems like a luxury we don’t have right now. The planet has lost over 600,000 people who died because of the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, scientists believe that human “challenge trials” could significantly accelerate the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. These trials mean that healthy volunteers will deliberately be exposed to the new coronavirus after receiving the supposed vaccine.
Organization ‘1 Day Sooner’ insists about the benefit of the challenge trials, and are asking the U.S. government to provide support. The scientists involved explained as following:
“In such trials, volunteers still receive the vaccine candidate or a control. Instead of resuming life as usual and waiting to ‘catch’ a virus, volunteers are deliberately exposed to the pathogen under controlled conditions. Beyond being faster than conventional trials, a challenge test is likelier to conclude with interpretable results, e.g. should the presence of virus around the study site begin to fade over time,”
While some people might say that the method is unethical, the World Health Organization (WHO) claims the opposite because the challenges will meet certain criteria. The trial participants will be of young ages and in good health. They will also receive high-quality medical care with frequent monitoring.