Considering the widespread of the on-going pandemic it is a common perception that everyone is trying to ditch the virus. People have reduced their social contacts, avoid going to large gatherings, and pay attention to their hand hygiene, all for avoiding coronavirus. On the other side, thousands of people from all parts of the world are signing up for getting exposed to COVID-19 by choice.
These people are a part of an online campaign started by a group that identifies itself as 1 Day Sooner. The purpose of infecting people with coronavirus on purpose is to test the experimental coronavirus vaccine on them following a controlled setting. So all these people are basically signing up for the human trials of the COVID-19 vaccine by volunteering their health and bodies.
These human trials are not new and are often regarded as controversial. Previously, these human trials were a part of testing vaccines for common cold, typhoid, malaria, and cholera which thankfully, are now treatable. But one thing that is different from these diseases is that there is no treatment for COVID-19 available yet. So in case this experimental vaccine fails, the lives of all these people who have exposed themselves to COVID-19 deliberately will be in danger.
Although all these participants in these human trials are generally compensated in terms of their time and regard for participation. But health experts warn that no amount can repay the damage caused to health.
There are chances that these vaccine trials will be limited and only take young adults who are most likely to ditch the virus when given proper medical care and treatment. Those who lose their lives or fall for complications are often old, feeble, and have underlying medical conditions. Otherwise, the recovery rate of COVID-19 is much higher as compared to the severity of its symptoms.
The UK government has already announced to be a part of such trials which will confirm the fate of the COVID-19 pandemic by making the vaccine available. The big pharma giants such as AstraZeneca and Sanofi have shared that they are not taking a part in these trials. But nearly 11 vaccine candidates are already in their phase three trials which involve giving the vaccine to humans and monitoring them for changes.
In terms of vaccine development, critics share that there is no assurance that vaccines that are to be evaluated are the best ones or not. There is only one way to know- human trials.
The health experts say there is rarely research that is completed without any risk. Every day thousands of researchers and healthcare professionals take this risk to save other people. These people who have agreed to get exposed to COVID-19 on purpose are just being a part of an effort to benefit the whole world and it is not surprising.
Most volunteers who have agreed to be a part of it have shared it to be a life changing opportunity through which they can help save millions of lives. Some of them have deferred their professional and educational commitments just to be a part of this project.
After a screening test, the selected candidates will be inside a bio-containment facility, given the vaccine, and observed for upcoming weeks. Their results will be compared to the control group, also called the placebo group. Usually, in phase three trials, the experimental group is compared with a placebo group that is not given the real vaccine but checked for any variable factor.
There is a huge disagreement on placing people in this placebo group. Some health experts suggest not to do it, while others day without it, this vaccine trial cannot proceed.