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To find a vaccine for COVID-19, will we have to deliberately infect people?


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Positivity     37.00%   
   Negativity   63.00%
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SOURCE: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/to-make-a-coronavirus-vaccine-we-may-need-to-deliberately-infect-people.html
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Summary

The death of a challenge trial participant could have profound consequences for public trust in vaccine trials and vaccines themselves.“I am not against challenge trials,” says Jeffrey Kahn, director of Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore. He rounded up 125 prominent researchers and ethicists, including 15 Nobel laureates, to sign a July 15 open letter to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, urging the government to make “immediate preparations” for human challenge trials.Anthony Fauci, the immunologist who oversees federal vaccine research, says the NIH is preparing a strain of the virus to be used in a challenge trial if one were deemed necessary, but the nation’s premier medical research center has no plans to conduct one.The World Health Organization, in draft guidelines issued last May, advised that challenge trials be limited to healthy people ages 18 to 25 because they have the lowest risk for becoming severely ill or dying. Hill announced in July he planned to conduct a challenge trial later this year, but Oxford’s communications office has since said there are no current plans for one.“Imagine a world where we do have unexpected setbacks in vaccines, and it’s January 1, 2021, and there is no end in sight,” Morrison says. Challenge trials since have been used to test vaccines for typhoid, cholera, malaria, and a host of other diseases.In the United States, 20th-century challenge trials often were conducted in institutions, such as mental facilities and prisons, where the participants had not truly volunteered. From 1955 to 1970, challenge trials to test a vaccine for hepatitis were conducted on children at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island, New York, where developmentally disabled children and adults lived in overcrowded conditions later described as a “snake pit.” The trials hastened development of a hepatitis B vaccine, but at the time other researchers were also closing in on a viable vaccine and there long has been debate over whether it was right to infect children.Reforms followed in the 1970s, including the National Research Act in 1974 that established protections for participants in human research trials. A COVID-19 challenge trial would require a biosafety level 3 protection.The Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine operates a 48-bed unit in Baltimore where challenge studies are routinely conducted to create vaccines for diseases such as malaria, influenza, and a slate of bacteria-related illnesses caused by consumption of contaminated food or water, such as shigella.Wilbur Chen, a specialist in vaccinology and chief of the Adult Clinical Studies section, gave a tour recently of the unit where challenge trial participants stay while they are waiting out effects of the infections they’ve been given. When the participants in the bacterial studies get ill, they’re given antibiotics, no harm done.Chen and Kahn, the head of the Johns Hopkins bioethics institute, are preparing a paper that will argue against challenge trials for diseases that lack treatment.“We reviewed the literature and come down on the side that you cannot substantiate the ethics behind a COVID challenge,” Chen says. As populations are vaccinated, the infection rate will drop, making field trials more difficult.Chen envisions that challenge trials could play a key role in testing better vaccines and also learning more about how the coronavirus interacts with its human host.“You can get samples multiple times a day so we can really look in depth at those sorts of scientific questions.

As said here by Laura Parker