The U.S. government is engineering a new strain of the coronavirus that it may use in human volunteers to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, The Washington Post reported.
Health officials said they doubt they will need to resort to “human challenge” experiments and Anthony Fauci, MD, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it would be “plan C or plan D” in vaccine development.
“You generally do this if you don’t have enough infections in the community at any given time to get a signal from the vaccine. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have that problem — we have a lot of infections,” Dr. Fauci told the Post.
If traditional vaccine development methods succeed, the government will not have to use the engineered strain of the coronavirus, the Post reported.
The process of developing a strain of a virus is time-consuming, so traditional methods will likely yield results sooner, according to the Post.
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