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Are controlled human infection studies for a COVID 19 vaccine ethical? A bioethicist explains why not

It’s been over four months since the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic; millions of people worldwide have been infected, and more than half a million have died of this disease. While today the best response may be to track, test, track, isolate and treat, many public health communities believe that the virus is not going to go away without a vaccine. But it will take years to develop a vaccine moving from the lab to testing them for safety and efficacy, getting regulatory approval manufacturing at scale and finally reaching it to all the people who need it. Despite what the Indian Council of Medical Research has indicated, and then later denied, vaccines don’t go from the lab to the shot in your arm in six weeks. The process of research into vaccine development also raises some very important ethical issues. What are the ethical challenges involved in the research and development of vaccines?

For this episode, Sandhya Srinivasan, consulting editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics asks Dr Amar Jesani, a senior bioethicist and editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics very pertinent questions regarding the ethical challenges of using controlled human infection studies for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Other episodes of ‘Deciphering COVID-19 Research’ series

The need for evidence-based medicine in treating COVID-19
What goes into the fast tracking development of a vaccine- A virologist explains

Download – Transcript

Are controlled human infection studies for a COVID 19 vaccine ethical? A bioethicist explains why not