Oxford University to reinfect recovered Covid-19 patients to develop better vaccines

Oxford University to reinfect recovered Covid-19 patients to develop better vaccines

On the other hand, the second phase of the trial will explore two different areas. They will then have follow-up appointments and be monitored for a year.

The study will involve healthy participants aged 18-30 who have previously been naturally infected with COVID-19 and have completely recovered.

The Reuters news agency said the study, which started on Monday, differs from challenge trials approved in February by medical regulator, which are being conducted by Imperial College London because they involve people who have not previously been infected with the virus. A recent study indicated that as much as 10% of previously infected young adults were reinfected, underscoring the need for effective vaccines to prevent spread, and Pfizer Inc's chief executive officer has said that booster shots may be needed to maintain the immunity provided by the initial two doses of the company's shot.

Helen McShane, professor of vaccinology at the department of paediatrics, University of Oxford and chief investigator on the study, said: "Challenge studies tell us things that other studies can not because, unlike natural infection, they are tightly controlled".

Researchers would look at what kind of immune response could help people avoid getting infected with COVID-19 again, as well as how the immune system responds to the virus a second time.

"Second, we will measure the immune response at several time points after infection so we can understand what immune response is generated by the virus". The first phase is scheduled to take place this month and the second phase is due to start during the summers.

"A challenge study allows us to make these measurements very precisely because we know exactly when someone is infected".


"As well as enhancing our basic understanding, this may help us to design tests that can accurately predict whether people are protected".

The original strain of COVID-19 from Wuhan is going to be used because this is the one that scientists have the most information about, but another variant could also be included.

The participants will be quarantined in a specially designed hospital suite for a minimum of 17 days under the care of the research team.

Participants who develop Covid symptoms will be treated with an antibody drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc that's been authorized by USA regulators, Oxford said.

"Modelled on the success of the vaccines and therapeutics taskforces, which have played a crucial part in our response to the pandemic, we are now bringing together a new team that will supercharge the search for antiviral treatments and roll them out as soon as the autumn".

Critics of challenge trials have pointed out the ethical dangers of infecting people without being sure of its long-term consequences.

Research by British scientists has established that both steroid dexamethasone and tocilizumab, an arthritis drug developed by Roche, reduced the risk of death in patients with severe COVID-19.

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