The world’s first Covid-19 human challenge study has received ethics approval in the UK, with 90 healthy volunteers to be exposed to the virus in the coming weeks in an attempt to learn more about Covid’s effect on the body.

Researchers have started their search for 90 people aged 18-30 who will willingly expose themselves to Covid-19 as part of a study to learn more about the virus which has killed more than two million people worldwide after the government announced the trial had received ethics approval on Wednesday. 

The British government said the study, which is backed by £33.6 million of taxpayers’ money, will “play a key role in developing effective coronavirus vaccines and treatments.”

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Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added that while there has been significant progress with regards to vaccine and treatment development, more research is required.

The Covid-19 virus being used in the study have been created by a team at Great Ormond Street Hospital for the Children NHS Foundation Trust in London, in collaboration with industry-leading clinical company hVIVO.

Volunteers will be compensated for their time and participation in the study.

On Sunday the UK hit its target of inoculating 15 million of the most vulnerable people against Covid-19 and now aims to vaccinate 32 million people, all at-risk groups, by May.

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