Are COVID Human Infection Trials Ethical?
Humans are deliberately being infected with the coronavirus in the U.K. — the first country in the world to give ethical approval for trials that infect people with the virus, which researchers say allows them to learn more about COVID-19 in its early stages.
The ethics of such challenge studies were discussed at length in a recent “Coronavirus in Context” video featuring Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer at WebMD and Dr. Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College in London.
Openshaw pointed out that the 100 study volunteers, ages 18 to 30, were selected because they are at low risk of developing COVID-19. They were given the lowest dose of the original SARS-CoV-2 — not a variant — to cause nasal colonization and were treated with remdesivir before any symptoms occurred, he said.
When asked by Whyte if the challenge study was unethical, Openshaw said no.
“We don't believe it is,” Openshaw said. “We do know an awful lot about the virus that we are now using to infect, and as I said, we are going to be using the very smallest dose we can. We're not using one of the new variants, which we have less information about. We are using virus which was circulating last summer, where we really do have a lot of information about exactly how it behaves.”
Are COVID-19 Human Infection Trials Ethical?
John Whyte, MD, MPH; Peter Openshaw, MD, Phd-March 15, 2021
approx 7 min video
Flucamp clinical trials
'We conduct multiple trials, our standard clinical trials are for the common cold, flu, RSV, COVID-19 and other viral illnesses in healthy people as well as for the common cold for asthmatics in our asthma clinical trials research and development.
Flu Clinical Trials
Asthma Clinical Trials
RSV Vaccine Trials
Covid-19 Vaccine Trials
Most trials last between 11-14 days and are residential, so volunteers will be quarantined during this time.
The Hidden Truth Behind the Too-Good-to-be True COVID-19 Vaccines: An Interview with Dr. Ronald B. Brown, PhD
Interview with Dr. Ronald B. Brown, PhD - March 15, 2021
Why the COVID-19 Vaccine is Useless and Ineffective
(relative risk reduction (RRR) and absolute risk reduction (ARR))
This is only 0.7% (that’s seven-tenths of one percent) for the Pfizer vaccine, and 1.1% for the Moderna vaccine. These numbers are the most important numbers to consider when determining how much the vaccine will actually reduce your risk of infection. RRRs are intended for use in comparing an overall summary of one trial with other trials to determine which is more efficacious; RRRs are not intended for direct clinical and public health applications.
MANLEY: Without an ongoing placebo group, would that mean, essentially, there is no long-term safety evaluation happening beyond the trial period?
BROWN: That’s another bombshell in the article that people should be aware of. One of the peer reviewers suggested that I discuss other examples of outcome reporting bias involving relative risk measures in randomized clinical trials. My article shows that clinical trials of influenza vaccines have a 1.4% ARR compared to the usual 40% to 60% RRRs reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Virology Cannot Answer Basic Questions
MANLEY: In many ways, we still don’t even understand how a virus functions, do we?
BROWN: What is a virus, where does it come from, what is its purpose, and what happens to it in the body? How pathogenic is it, and how infectious is it? Virology does not have the full answers to these basic questions, and yet, public health policy is predicated on assumptions about the nature of viruses that may prove to be the complete opposite of reality. I have spent the year reviewing the past and most recent virology literature, and I have come upon some astonishing evidence that could turn the whole infectious disease paradigm on its ear. That evidence will be presented in the near future in yet another manuscript currently under peer review.
Considering that we do not understand viruses, the very low effectiveness of the covid vaccine and particularly the low success rate of the flu vaccines that have been studied for decades , the chosen volunteer do not reflect the general age and health of the population, the short duration of such trials and little or no safety data on medium or long term evaluation of a placebo group beyond the short term trials are these trials ethical?