British Researchers Plan to Infect Healthy Volunteers to Study COVID-19

2020/10/29 14:11

Today's Vocabulary

1. challenge (n)
an invitation to do something difficult, funny, or embarrassing, especially on social media, often as a way of raising money for a good cause

2. worth (adj)
important or useful enough to have or do

3. monitored (n)
a person who has the job of watching or noticing particular things

4. carried out (phr.v.)
to do or complete something, especially that you have said you would do or that you have been told to do  

5. consider (v)
to spend time thinking about a possibility or making a decision

6. infect (v)
to pass a disease to a person, animal, or plant

British Researchers Plan to Infect Healthy Volunteers to Study COVID-19

Researchers in Britain are preparing to infect healthy young volunteers with the virus that causes COVID-19. The aim is to speed up development of a vaccine that could help end the worldwide pandemic.

This kind of research is known as a human challenge study. It is not used often because some people consider it morally wrong to infect healthy individuals for medical tests. But researchers say the risk is worth it. 

Human challenge studies have been used to develop vaccines for diseases including typhoid, cholera and malaria.

 The Imperial College London said Tuesday that the study would be carried out in partnership with the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Also in the partnership is hVIVO, a company that has experience with human challenge studies.

The research will take place at the Royal Free Hospital in London, which has an area designed to contain the disease. Volunteers will be monitored for at least one year to make sure they do not suffer any long-term effects.

Challenge studies are usually used to test vaccines against mild infections. The aim is to avoid infecting volunteers with a serious sickness if the vaccine does not work. The coronavirus causes only mild or moderate problems in most people and seems to be mild in young, healthy individuals.

The long-term effects of the disease, however, are not well understood. There have been reports of continuing problems in the heart and other organs even in those who did not feel sick.


  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. What would you do if there was an outbreak in your country?
  3. Do you think scientists will find a cure for the coronavirus?

“Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.”

Anne Wilson Schaef