With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage countries around the globe, scientific bodies around the world have been tirelessly attempting to combat the virus by trying to manufacture a functioning vaccine.
Currently, there are 23 vaccines undergoing clinical trials with another 140 still in early development. With several of them showing promising effects in volunteers without producing any serious side effects.
However, in a call to accelerate research and the production of a vaccine, some scientists are wanting to deliberately expose otherwise healthy volunteers to the coronavirus in order to see if the vaccines are able to do what they're supposed to.
Voluntarily contracting COVID-19
Recently, the organization 1 Day Sooner has created a campaign for 'human challenge trials' which aims to see faster development of a vaccine by having willing volunteers be exposed to the virus.
The campaign has gained backing from hundreds of prominent figures including Professor Adrian Hill at Oxford University which has one of the leading prototypes for a possible coronavirus vaccine.
The organization argues that the risk to the volunteers would be low while the societal benefits could be huge. In their letter they explained:
If challenge trials can safely and effectively speed the vaccine development process, then there is a formidable presumption in favour of their use, which would require a very compelling ethical justification to overcome.
According to some early trial results for a vaccine being developed by Oxford scientists, it was shown that the jab was effectively able to double up on protection from the virus making this candidate a very strong contender as a COVID-19 vaccine.