By Eliza Erskine 5-6 minutes
In an effort to increase the time until a coronavirus treatment and vaccine is available, lawmakers, experts and medical facilities are looking to humans instead of animals to be tested for potential vaccines.
Peter Singer and Richard Yetter Chappell argued the case for testing on humans in a recent Washington Post op-ed. The slow speed of animal testing makes it a less than ideal solution to coronavirus vaccine. “For example, conventional standards require that new drugs be tested on animals before clinical trials with humans are permitted. For covid-19, sufficiently promising treatments should jump to human clinical trials as soon as is reasonably possible, bypassing the usual lengthy period of animal testing,” they wrote.
Pandemic situations dictate that the “significant risk” associated with human testing isn’t equal to the “catastropic toll” the virus could cause around the globe. United States lawmakers are recommending that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), allow human trials for coronavirus testing. “[A] more risk-tolerant development process is likely appropriate in the case of a COVID-19 vaccine. The enormous human cost of the COVID-19 epidemic alters the optimization of the risk/benefit analysis, ” the group’s statement shared.
Texas A&M University is known for its medical facilities usually used for animal testing. The university is asking the government to allow it to switch processes to test on humans to increase national testing capabilities. The FDA requires that people with human lab experience to manage human testing and the university is seeking a waiver. A&M System Chancellor John Sharp blamed the government’s “federal red tape” for their delayed permission to test.
Sharp said in an interview, “Red tape is one thing, but red tape in the middle of a pandemic is pretty ridiculous. This ain’t the time to follow the rules, this is the time to follow common sense and open up facilities that they know are some of the best in the country.”
Matthew Memoli, an immunologist at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it’s important to weigh the risks and take into account our lack of understanding about coronavirus. He told Science Mag, “Where you’re going to give somebody a virus on purpose, you really want to understand the disease so that you know that what you’re doing is a reasonable risk.”
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:
- How Coronavirus and the Wildlife Trade are Linked
- Jane Goodall’s Talks about Coronavirus and the Treatment of Wild Animals
- United States Now Has Most Coronavirus Cases in the World
- Coronavirus Update: How Emerging Diseases are Linked to Factory Farms
- Coronavirus Update: Death Toll Surpasses SARS
- The Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu
- Coronavirus Update: Quarantined Patients Given Turtles for Dinner In Spite of
- Coronavirus Update: Your Pets are Not in Danger
- China Acts on Coronavirus and Temporarily Bans Wildlife Trade
- Coronavirus Update: World Global Emissions Have Dropped
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