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The Big Read: 'It's about saving lives' - the Irish volunteers who want to be infected with Covid-19

Up to 67 Irish people want to be exposed to the virus in order to help the search for a vaccine. Kim Bielenberg talks to those involved in a growing movement and examines how clinical trials are conducted in Ireland

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Global movement: Seán O’Neill McPartlin, a Trinity philosophy graduate who has volunteered to be infected with Covid-19 during vaccine trials. Picture by Mark Condren

Global movement: Seán O’Neill McPartlin, a Trinity philosophy graduate who has volunteered to be infected with Covid-19 during vaccine trials. Picture by Mark Condren

Human challenge: Josh Morrison, founder of the 1 Day Sooner group

Human challenge: Josh Morrison, founder of the 1 Day Sooner group

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Global movement: Seán O’Neill McPartlin, a Trinity philosophy graduate who has volunteered to be infected with Covid-19 during vaccine trials. Picture by Mark Condren

Most of us have spent the past three months desperately trying to avoid the coronavirus wherever we go.

Seán O'Neill McPartlin, a 22-year-old Trinity College graduate from Ratoath, Co Meath is in a different position: he wants to contract Covid-19 in the near future.

O'Neill McPartlin is one of 67 Irish volunteers who have put their names forward to be infected with the virus in the hope that it will speed up the production of a vaccine. He is part of a global movement of volunteers known as 1 Day Sooner. They believe that by taking part in "human challenge" clinical trials, they can save thousands of lives.


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