//Human Challenge studies

Human Challenge studies

COVID-19 Human Challenge studies


Specially convened Research Ethics Committee

Convened by the HRA; it was not deemed by the MHRA to be within remit

Imperial College London, Dr Chris Chiu, the chief investigator



Ninety, aged between 18 and 30

Test efficiency of vaccines

Second generation vaccines

Immunological reactions

Transmission characteristics

Viral infective dose

Administered in liquid form, into the volunteer’s nostrils

Royal Free Hospital in north London

Isolated room for two and a half weeks

Then monitored for up to a year.

Risk of outdoor transmission of Covid-19 is low

Professor Mark Woolhouse, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

There’s been very, very little evidence that any transmission outdoors is happening in the UK

There were no outbreaks linked to crowded beaches

Avoid pinch points, travel, cafes


February 12, 2021

US daily cases have declined sharply

Next four months, balance of four factors

(Many different outcomes possible)

Vaccination (71% prepared to accept)

Declining seasonality, now until August

Spread of variant B.1.1.7

Increased transmission behaviour

Daily case decline, vaccination increases, = behaviors to increased transmission

Infections are expected to increase after mid-March at least for 4-6 weeks

Cases, decline until mid-March, then increase to over 200,000 again by early April

Stress on hospital capacity in some states

Deaths not increasing due to vaccination

Deaths by 1st June

Vaccinations, 145 million adults (preventing 114,000 deaths)

Deaths, 616,000

Daily deaths should continue to decline

Mask wearing, 76% (always wore a mask when leaving home)

Universal mask coverage (95%) = 34,000 fewer cumulative deaths

Unknown protection of previous infection to VOC B.1.351

Current situation

18% of people in the US have been infected as of February 8

59 million

Cumulative infection rates greater than 25%: North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and New York

South Africa uses Johnson & Johnson

Unused, 1 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca

First batch of 80,000 doses landed in the country from Brussels late Tuesday

Single dose, stored in refrigerators

US, Johnson & Johnson

Only a few million doses in stock

Committed to providing 100 million doses by June

US, Pfizer and Moderna

Promised to deliver 200 million doses by the end of March

So far, 72 million doses have been shipped around the U.S

HERA incubator programme

EU proactive in second generation vaccine development

Ursula von der Leyen

The virus has evolved and will continue to evolve

It is important we prepare for mutations

Already-authorised, AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna

Johnson & Johnson, EMA by middle of March


In talks for 1 -2 million doses of Sputnik V

(Not yet been approved by EMA)

Hungary is currently using Sputnik V

Tourism needed

South Africa

Adrian Gore, CEO of health insurer Discovery

The number of people who have been infected, in our view, is probably over 50% of the country

Most of excess deaths attributable to Covid-19

National Blood Service

Eastern Cape, 63% have been infected

KwaZulu-Natal, 52%


Health minister Chen Shih-chung

Crucial deal to acquire the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had failed at the final step

I was worried about interference from external forces

I was worried about political pressure

We believed there was political pressure

The deal fell through… because someone doesn’t want Taiwan to be too happy

German firm BioNTech, struck a deal with Shanghai-based Fosun Pharmaceutical Group to bring the vaccine to China