UK to infect volunteers with Covid for vaccine trial

London: UK researchers plan to start infecting healthy volunteers with tightly controlled doses of the coronavirus in early 2021 in what they called a first-of-its-kind effort to more rapidly gauge the effectiveness of multiple vaccines against Covid-19.

The trials, which could begin in January, aim to speed up the race to get a Covid-19 vaccine, a BBC report said, adding that the government is putting £33.6m towards the groundbreaking work.

Safety will be a number one priority, experts insist. The plans will need ethical approval and sign-off from regulators before they can go ahead, it said.

The goal is to test how effective vaccines are in warding off infection and symptoms and to study in detail how participants’ immune systems respond.

Plans are to start at a clinical site at London’s Royal Free Hospital, part of the state-funded National Health Service, and eventually expand the study to other sites nationwide, researchers said.