In all, 90 volunteers aged 18 to 30 must be infected with the new coronavirus for scientists to analyze how the disease acts in the body
THE UK will be the first country to purposely infect a group of volunteers with the Covid-19 as part of a study to understand how the virus affects different organisms. The research, called the “human challenge study” by the country’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will contaminate, in a controlled environment, 90 people aged between 18 and 30 years. According to the British government, £ 33.6 million (equivalent to R $ 250 million) was invested in the study, which received ethical approval on Wednesday, 17, and should start in a month. “The first study of the type for the new coronavirus should establish what is the smallest amount of virus needed to cause an infection, which will give doctors a better understanding of the disease”, explains the excerpt from the statement issued by the government.
The study is expected to infect young people with the first strain of the virus, which has been circulating in the UK since March 2020 and has proven to be less risky to health than the new variant discovered in late 2020. All volunteers will be monitored 24 hours a day with assistance from three different London health institutions. Participants will have a financial reward for the time they dedicate to the study, but the amount to be received by each one was not disclosed. A screening process will be carried out and only those who have better health conditions should be selected.
“We guarantee a number of safe and effective vaccines for the UK, but it is essential that we continue to develop new vaccines and treatments for Covid-19. We hope that these studies will offer unique insights into how the virus works and help us understand which promising vaccines have the best chance of preventing infection, ”explained the coordinator of the country’s vaccination task force, Clive Dix. To date, the UK, with 66 million inhabitants, has had 4 million people infected by the disease since the beginning of the pandemic and 118 deaths by Covid-19 have been recorded.