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Their Own Guinea Pigs

Rather than wait for an approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, some researchers are trying a homemade one on themselves, Technology Review reports.

About 20 researchers, many with ties to Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Personal Genome Project, formed a group called the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative and have dosed themselves with an experimental vaccine, it adds. According to Tech Review, the vaccine, which the participants have to mix themselves, includes protein fragments from the virus combined with chitosan and is delivered nasally. It notes that it is unclear whether this approach will generate an immune response.

Additionally, Tech Review writes that this effort is operating in a "legal gray area" as it has received neither authorization from the Food and Drug Administration nor an OK from an ethics board.

"What the FDA really wants to crack down on is anything big, which makes claims, or makes money. And this is none of those," Harvard University's George Church, who is part of the effort, tells Tech Review. "As soon as we do any of those things, they would justifiably crack down. Also, things that get attention. But we haven't had any so far."