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According to the Financial Time newspaper, the British authorities are preparing to launch the first “human infectious challenge” for testing vaccines against Covid-19.
In the global race for the Covid-19 vaccine, anything that can save time is welcome. The United Kingdom would thus be ready to carry out a human infectious challenge, a technique which consists in inoculating the virus in healthy volunteers, to test the effectiveness of the vaccines.
But this practice has not been relevant for decades, which explains the astonishment of Professor Jean-Paul Sthal, infectious disease specialist at Grenoble University Hospital.
« It is a practice that has been abandoned for 70 years. We stopped this practice of inoculating a disease in humans, it is really something that is outside current scientific practice, explains the doctor. In other words, people are no longer inoculated with a dangerous disease without any guarantee that a vaccine will protect them. We risk killing people with that, and there is no more treatment so I would be surprised if an ethics committee would agree to a practice of this kind. »
The UK trial is set to start in January 2021, but voices are already rising against a method that raises ethical questions.
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