• Alysa Salzberg

Should we start human trials for potential coronavirus vaccines?

The need for a coronavirus vaccine is unquestionable. But what are the practical concerns, as well as ethics, behind speeding up the process?


A fascinating article explores the question of human trials on coronavirus vaccines that are currently in development.


Because coronavirus has no proven cure and its effects on the body are uncertain in general, human test subjects would be taking a major risk. But some medical professionals believe it could be worth it; if human trials allow us to find an effective vaccine quickly, countless human deaths will be prevented – not to mention issues like economic disaster.


But there are strong voices on the other side of the argument, as well. For instance, virologist Angela Rasmussen suggests that such rushed testing may not be worth it. Rasmussen points out, for instance, that in order to pose the least risk to human volunteers, the subjects would all have to be part of a homogenous group: young, healthy people. Even if a vaccine were to work on this group, would it work for vulnerable members of the population?


Read on to learn more about the debate over early human trials for a coronavirus vaccine.



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