We all want a coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible so we can put this nightmare behind us. As I type, I realize that’s not a universal truism because of the anti-vaxxers. So let’s try it again.
Most of us who are rational and reasonable are anxiously awaiting the development of a vaccine to end the coronavirus Groundhog’s Day purgatory we’ve all been going through. But are we doing everything we can to get a vaccine as quickly as we can? Perhaps not.
As it stands now volunteers are given either a placebo or the potential vaccine and sent on their merry way. But they have to be exposed to the virus; otherwise there’s no way to tell if the vaccine is effective. What if volunteers were intentionally exposed to the virus? There would be no need for a placebo group, and the efficacy of the potential vaccine could be determined much more quickly.
It sounds like a good idea, but is it ethical? Is sending out volunteers into the public and “hoping” they are exposed to it ethical?