Volunteers to earn £3500 to be infected with coronavirus to help find a vaccine

10 March 2020, 14:51 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 12:10

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Participants in the UK trial will be paid £3500 for their service.

As people frantically scramble to hoard toilet paper (?!) and find the perfect song to wash their hands to, researchers across the world are working hard to find a cure for Coronavirus.

COVID-19 cases are rapidly spreading across the globe and in a bid to find a vaccine, research centres are offering cold hard cash to people who are willing to be injected with viruses and vaccines as part of a clinical trial.

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If you're in the UK, the Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre in London will soon be recruiting 24 people for the study. And if you're in the US, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute's clinical trial will take place in Seattle, Washington.

Clinical trials are looking for volunteers to help find a vaccine for Coronavirus
Clinical trials are looking for volunteers to help find a vaccine for Coronavirus. Picture: Westend61

As reported by the Daily Mail, the UK trial will see 24 members of the public get injected with weaker strains of the virus (called 0C43 and 229E). Tests will then be carried out using a newly developed jab by Hvivo, one of the companies working to find a vaccine.

Once injected, they will be placed in complete quarantine for two weeks, and effectively banned from physical contact from the outside world, while they wait to see if the jab was successful. Participants are said to be paid £3,500 for their time.

On their website, Hvivo currently states: "Flucamp is not recruiting volunteers for studies on Coronavirus at the moment. This is a line of research we are looking into – not with Covid-19 but with a safer, milder coronavirus which has been circulating in people for a long time – and we’ll make announcements when we’re ready to start."

The US trial, as detailed by Business Insider, is looking for 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 to 55. The goal of this study is to learn about the safety of the vaccine – developed by biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics – and how the immune system responds to it.

As per the study's description, participants will receive two injections of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, that have yet to be tested on humans. It doesn't cause infection, so no quarantine is needed for this one.

This trial will take place over 14 months, and is expected to start at the end of April. Participants will receive up to $1,100 (around £830) in total. 

So, if you think you can firm it for two weeks in complete isolation, with a restricted diet, while dealing with mild respiratory symptoms... then go get your coins!