World’s First Coronavirus Human Challenge Study Given Go Ahead In The UK

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

17 Feb 2021

The first Covid-19 human challenge study was given the go ahead after receiving ethics approval in the same week the UK hits target of offering first dose to 15 million people

Starting in a few weeks 90 people aged 18-30 will be exposed to the virus in a safe and controlled environment while medics monitor their health.

Scientists will be working out the smallest amount of coronavirus needed to cause infection, and how the body’s immune system reacts to it. The trials aim to give doctors a better understanding of the disease caused by the virus, which will feed into the development of vaccines and treatments.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“Researchers and scientists around the world have made incredible progress in understanding Covid-19 and developing critical vaccines to protect people,”

“While there has been very positive progress in vaccine development, we want to find the best and most effective vaccines for use over the longer term. These human challenge studies will take place here in the UK and will help accelerate scientists’ knowledge of how coronavirus affects people and could eventually further the rapid development of vaccines.”

Researchers are encouraging people aged between 18 and 30 years old, who are at the lowest risk of complications resulting from coronavirus, to volunteer for the study. Participants will be financially compensated for their time.