Dr Michelle Dickinson: We may not get a Covid-19 vaccine

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 May 2020, 2:47PM
(Photo / File)

Dr Michelle Dickinson: We may not get a Covid-19 vaccine

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 May 2020, 2:47PM

It’s an ethical one this week.

As New Zealand continues to efficiently rid itself of Covid-19, the current plan is for us to keep our borders restricted and wait for a vaccine.

While making a vaccine still has a long road ahead, once it is made it will need to be tested on humans to see if it is safe. The process involves injecting healthy people and seeing if they have any side effects.

Then the next step is testing if the vaccine actually works, to do this healthy people will need to be artificially infected with Covid-19.

So the science debate is, who would New Zealand infect and what type of people would be willing to do this?

Traditionally the country have used students of those on low-incomes who are incentivised by the money paid to be in a medical trial.

Usually these people are not told what they are being exposed to or tested with. The big question we need to ask ourselves from a science perspective, are we okay infecting people with the virus to potentially help the global population in the long run?