COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies?
8 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020
Date Written: March 20, 2020
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
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