Researchers in London, United Kingdom, have offered potential volunteers money to participate in a study where they would be infected with the coronavirus. The trial is led by clinical studies company Hvivo and looks to inject subjects with two weaker strains of the virus.
Most people have gone to increasingly extreme measures to avoid contracting COVID-19. Sporting and music events have been canceled and even Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden canceled rallies over fear of the virus. According to EPM Magazine, Hvivo is offering people around $4,500 to be intentionally infected with the illness.
This “Controlled Human Infection Model” will see subjects infected so drugs and vaccines can be tested. After they have received the vaccine, infected patients will be quarantined for two weeks and monitored. During which they will be placed on a strict diet and refrain from exercise while being isolated to avoid physical contact with others.
The two strains that will be administered are OC43 and 229E, which EPM Magazine reports “have been widespread in the community for a number of years.” These strains are reported to cause only minor respiratory issues.
Hvivo’s study would be conducted on 24 volunteers at the Queen Mary Innovation Center in London. The company has run Flu Camp studies on volunteers for years — where they paid people to be tested for vaccines against the common cold and flu. They claim to have safely administered these weaker strains of the coronavirus for years.
As reported by The Times of London, doctors would wear protective clothing and masks to study the selected candidates. Results would help researchers discover the most effective methods of treatment to combat the virus and fast-track their development. One of Hvivo’s chief scientists, Andrew Catchpole, spoke to the publication.
“Drugs companies can get a very good idea within a few months of starting a vaccine study whether it’s working or not, using such a small sample of people,” Catchpole said.
Over 20 medical research firms have conducted similar studies to discover a vaccine for COVID-19. Hvivo’s program would proceed once they are given permission by the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
On Tuesday, hosts of the CBS show The Talk discussed the potential of being infected with the virus for money and a chance to develop a vaccine. As reported by Yahoo Entertainment, actress and model Brigitte Nielsen said she would have gladly participated when she was younger.
“If I was in my 20s [and] feeling healthy I would definitely be a guinea pig,” Nielsen said. “In my 20s I could need the money and I feel like if you’ve gotta get infected, do it when you’re overlooked by doctors.”