British regulators have approved the world’s first coronavirus human challenge trial, in which volunteers will be deliberately exposed to the virus to study how infection spreads.
The government says that the UK’s clinical trials ethics regulator has approved the trial and it will start within a month. The aim is to develop more effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
Researchers are seeking up to 90 volunteers aged 18-30, who will be exposed to COVID-19 “in a safe and controlled environment.” The study will try to determine the smallest amount of virus needed to cause infection.
Young people are being asked to volunteer because they have the lowest risk of serious illness from the coronavirus. Participants in the study will be monitored 24 hours a day.