In March 2020, the world faced the first case of the novel Coronavirus, the deadly COVID-19.

The virus grabbed the attention of people around the world and soon, governments along with health agencies recommended drastic measures to prevent its spread. The virus was rather tricky to combat because of its rapid surge and lack of vaccines for a long time. Researchers have worked since then to come up with ways to tackle the virus. Recently, researchers at the Imperial College London partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to carry out a radical experiment – infecting volunteers with COVID-19. This study, the world’s first of its kind, is being seen as a breakthrough in the fight against the pandemic.

What is the Imperial College & MIT study about? 

The Imperial College and MIT study involves the recruitment of individuals who are willing to be deliberately infected with the novel Coronavirus. The main aim of this study is to monitor the effect of the virus on recipients and identify potential treatments to better understand the effects of SARS-CoV-2. It involves exposing healthy volunteers to a benign “cold-like” virus that contains a small part of the Corona virus’s genetic material. Once the virus is developed, researchers will carefully monitor the volunteers for nine weeks.

Who is eligible for the study?

To be eligible for the study, volunteers need to:

-Be between 18 and 55 years of age
-Be healthy, with no preexisting conditions
-Have proof of working or living in the Imperial College and MIT study area
-Be willing to travel to Imperial College London or a partner site to take part in the study

What will be done during the study? 

The Imperial College and MIT study involves volunteers being deliberately exposed to the virus while they are carefully monitored. The components of the study consist of:

-Screening: Volunteers will undergo a series of tests to check they are eligible to take part in the study. This includes providing proof of identity, a medical history, and lifestyle questionnaire.

-Infection: Volunteers will then be deliberately exposed to the virus, either via nasal spray or through the skin on their arm.

-Monitoring: Following the exposure to the virus, the volunteers will be carefully monitored for the next nine weeks.

Potential benefits of the study

The Imperial College and MIT study has the potential to unlock valuable insights that could help to protect millions of people from the virus. By deliberately exposing healthy volunteers to the virus, researchers will be able to observe the changes over time and study the virus in detail. This could provide valuable information that could reduce the impact of the virus and uncover treatments and vaccines.

Ethical considerations 

Although the Imperial College and MIT study has the potential to unlock valuable insights, it is a controversial one, due to the fact that the volunteers are deliberately exposed to a potentially deadly virus. To ensure the safety of the volunteers, it must be conducted in accordance with rigorous ethical regulations.

The study protocol has been reviewed and approved by the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) and the National Research Ethics Service (NRES), which regulate and oversee clinical studies. Volunteers will also provide written informed consent, which must be obtained before any exposure occurs. Additionally, the volunteers will receive comprehensive physical and psychological assessments and will be carefully monitored during and after the study.

The Imperial College and MIT study is a radical experiment that is being seen as a breakthrough in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. By deliberately exposing healthy volunteers to the virus, the scientists hope to unlock valuable insights that could reduce the impact of the virus and uncover treatments and vaccines. Although the study faces ethical considerations, the team behind it will ensure the safety of the volunteers and adhere to ethical regulations.

The outcome of the study could be revolutionary and could aid in the fight against the novel Coronavirus. Let us hope for the best and wait for the results of the Imperial College and MIT study.