COVID-19 Human Challenge Studies: Is it OK for research participants to volunteer to be infected?
18 May 2020
As widespread use of safe and efficacious vaccines for COVID-19 could save many lives and enable governments to ease restrictive control measures, there is an urgent ethical imperative for well-designed and carefully conducted research to develop such vaccines and increase relevant scientific knowledge regarding SARS-CoV-2. Controlled human infection studies, also known as human challenge studies, have been proposed as one means of testing the many vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2. While this has attracted considerable attention with wide calls for COVID-19 challenge studies, the research community is divided over their ethical acceptability.
COVID-19 Immunity Passports: Inevitable? Ethical?
04 May 2020
Assuming that recovery from COVID-19 brings a measure of immunity, some have proposed that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work. While health officials and scientists continue to review the evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, critical ethical questions related to stigma, health inequities, and the evidential basis for the use of immunity passports must be addressed.
Why should ethics be front and centre to the response to COVID-19. Is it?
20 April 2020
This is the first online seminar from PHEPREN (Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Ethics Network), the newly launched global community of bioethicists, established to provide real-time, trusted, contextual support to communities, policy makers, researchers, and responders in relation to the ethical issues arising out of global health emergencies.