Pharmaceutical companies are taking the quest to come up with Covid 19 vaccine to another level. Any company that gets vaccine or outright cure for this dreaded infection will rake in so much money so companies are ready to spend so much money to get the solution. But they need voluntarily patients to achieve that. Guess what they’re now doing – offering money to people who would be willing ‘guinea pigs’ for laboaratory tests.
Reports have it that several companies as well as public sector organizations have reportedly begun offering volunteers up to $4,500 (about N2 million) to get infected with a form of the highly-contagious coronavirus to aid the search for a vaccine. It’s a tempting offer, especially for young, healthy and cash-strapped individuals, but there is a catch – they will be banned from contact with the outside world for at least two weeks.
One of the companies in the UK called Hvivo runs a quarantine unit in a laboratory in east London where volunteers will be observed over a two week period. The Times reports that up to 24 people at a time will be paid to be infected with two strains of the coronavirus (0C43 and 229E), both of which can cause severe respiratory symptoms.
“Drugs companies can get a very good idea within a few months of starting a vaccine study whether it’s working or not, using such a small sample of people,” said Andrew Catchpole, Hvivo’s chief scientist.
For 14 days the quarantined volunteers will be monitored by doctors and nurses in protective gear, who will be their only human contact over that period. Swabs and dirty tissues will also be collected in order to measure the viral load. According to Professor John Oxford, an expert in virology at the Queen Mary University of London, the infected volunteers will likely experience mild symptoms of a cough or cold.
You might think that getting people to be part of these tests will be difficult by there’s definitely someone out there willing to make this ‘sacrifice’ for humanity.