“Human Challenge Trials,” Where Healthy Volunteers Would Be Exposed to Covid-19, Explained

April 9, 2020

(Vox) – Now, a bioethicist and two epidemiologists are proposing a bolder option: You can volunteer to get infected yourself. In a recent article published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, bioethicist Nir Eyal and epidemiologists Marc Lipsitch and Peter G. Smith called for “human challenge studies” to test the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines as they’re developed. These studies would involve testing the vaccines on a group of volunteers who have been knowingly exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The hope is that it will allow researchers to ascertain more quickly and conclusively the effectiveness of the proposed vaccine.