The Ethics of Human Challenge Trials Using Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Virus Variants


The world’s first COVID-19 human challenge trial using the D614G strain of SARS-CoV-2 is underway in the United Kingdom. The Wellcome Trust is funding challenge stock preparation of the Beta variant (B.1.351) for a follow-up human challenge trial, and researchers at Imperial College London are considering conducting that trial. However, little has been written thus far about the ethical justifiability of human challenge trials with SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. While vaccine resistance as such does not increase risks for volunteers in COVID-19 challenge trials, we explore two specific characteristics of some variants that may initially be thought to make such trials unethical and conclude that SARS-CoV-2 variant challenge trials can remain ethical.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Challenge Trials: What Are the Ethical Problems?Daniel M. Hausman - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (1):137-145.


Added to PP

322 (#45,363)

6 months
39 (#54,536)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Abie Rohrig
Swarthmore College

References found in this work

Limits on risks for healthy volunteers in biomedical research.David B. Resnik - 2012 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (2):137-149.

Add more references