'Human challenge studies': UK may infect volunteers with coronavirus to test vaccine

WION Web Team London Sep 24, 2020, 01.25 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Boris Johnson government has reportedly been discussing the possibility of "human challenge studies" to develop the vaccine.

According to Britain's Financial Times, volunteers in the UK will be infected with coronavirus in order to test a possible vaccine to combat the virus.

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The Boris Johnson government has reportedly been discussing the possibility of "human challenge studies" to develop the vaccine. The "challenge" if it is approved will be the first of its kind in the world as the world grapples with the virus.

Also Read: Russia offers to give free coronavirus vaccine for UN staff across globe

The UK government had recently announced fresh guidelines to combat the virus which has begun spreading rapidly once again as the country reopened with harsh social distancing measures being put in place across the country with pubs, bars and other venues ordered to close by 10pm. 

The race for the vaccine has been going around the world with Johnson & Johnson announcing on Wednesday that it was entered the final Phase-3 stage of vaccine trials.

Johnson & Johnson will seek to enrol up to 60,000 volunteers across over 200 sites in the United States and around the world to conduct the trials. J&J would become the tenth vaccine maker globally to conduct the Phase 3 trial against coronavirus, and the fourth in the US.

"As COVID-19 continues to impact the daily lives of people around the world, our goal remains the same -- leveraging the global reach and scientific innovation of our company to help bring an end to this pandemic,"  Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of the company said.

Meanwhile, French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi and UK's GSK have promised up to 72 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine candidate to the Canadian government as countries race to get their hands on potential vaccine early to combat the virus.

Canada had earlier announced an agreement with Gilead Sciences and McKesson Canada for up to 150,000 vials of remdesivir.

Amid the race for the vaccine, the World Health Organization(WHO) said that over 60 wealthy nations have joined its programme to facilitate poor countries' to access the vaccine but the US and China haven't joined the list.

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