It’s been a strange week for the new crown vaccine trial. First, the vaccines of Both Moderna and Pfizer are in their final stages of trial, and both hope to recruit 30,000 volunteers to test whether the vaccine is effective and safe. If the two pharmaceutical companies are still routine, a group of researchers in Boston seem strange, even abnormal. They decided to test a new DIY crown vaccine on themselves.
According to Antonio Regalado, editor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review, at least 20 researchers mixed existing vaccines and sprayed them on their noses. They say the operation is part of the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Partnership (Radvac).
George Church, a geneticist from Harvard University, is currently taking part in the strange test. He has a very high reputation in the field of genetics, working on tasks such as recoding the human genome, mammoth revival and gene pairing. His student, Preston Estep, is also a geneticist who founded Radvac in March.
Predictably, many bioethicists have found the vaccine’s approach to development problematic, as editor Regalado reports.
Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU Langone Medical Center who read the white paper, called Radvac a “crazy madman.” Caplan said in an e-mail that given the importance of vaccine quality control, he sees “no need” for self-testing. Instead, he sees a high “injury potential” and “baseless enthusiasm.” But Church disagrees, arguing that a simple formula for the vaccine means it may be safe. “I think the bigger risk is that it’s not working,” he said.