Few dozen Dutch volunteer to get coronavirus for vaccine study
A group of around 40 Dutch people have registered to be infected with the coronavirus for a vaccine study program by a number of United States universities, NOS reports.
"There is a program in the United States by a large number of universities, One Day Sooner, they registered there," health editor Rinke van den Brink said to the broadcaster. The idea is that the vaccine is tested in an area where the virus is still spreading. "Then you vaccinate people and see if they become infected and whether they build up antibodies after the vaccine is administered. Then you see a difference between the people who have been vaccinated in such an area and the people who were not, you hope. If so, you know the vaccine is working."
According to Van den Brink, the fact that the virus is currently decreasing "almost everywhere" makes testing a vaccine in this way difficult. And medical studies of this kind can go wrong - while participants with any health problems are generally not allowed, there are risks with the coronavirus, she said. "We know that people can die or become very ill due to an infection with this virus. Or they become mildly ill, but they have serious symptoms for months. On the other hand, there are also many people who apparently do not suffer very much, while they can infect others."
Another problem is that such a study has to be approved by an ethics committee, Van den Brink said. "All medical research involving people has to be reviewed by a committee of ethicists and doctors. The question is whether they will approve it. Maybe in the United States it will be easier than in the Netherlands, but it is doubtful."