COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies?

8 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020

See all articles by G.O Schaefer

G.O Schaefer

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Clarence C. Tam

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

Julian Savulescu

University of Oxford - Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Teck Chuan Voo

National University of Singapore

Date Written: March 20, 2020

Abstract

While a human challenge study holds the prospect of accelerating the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it may be opposed due to risks of harm to participants and researchers. Given the increasing number of human deaths and severe disruption to lives worldwide, we argue that a SARS-CoV-2 challenge study is ethically justifiable as its social value substantially outweighs the risks. Such a study should therefore be seriously considered as part of the global research response towards the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper contributes to the debate by addressing the misperception that a challenge study would lower scientific and ethical standards for vaccine research as well as other ethical concerns. Information that need to be disclosed to prospective participants to obtain their consent are set out.

Note: Funding: The authors did not receive any specific funding for this work.

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no competing interests or conflict of interest.

Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; human challenge study; research ethics; coronavirus

Suggested Citation

Schaefer, G.O and Tam, Clarence C. and Savulescu, Julian and Voo, Teck Chuan, COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies? (March 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3568981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3568981

G.O Schaefer

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Clarence C. Tam

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

12 Science Drive 2
#10-01
117549
Singapore

Julian Savulescu

University of Oxford - Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics ( email )

10 Merton Street
Oxford OX1 3JP
United Kingdom
+44 1865 276926 (Phone)
+44 1865 276932 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/juliansavulescu.html

Teck Chuan Voo (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore ( email )

Singapore
Singapore
117597 (Fax)

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