At least ten different vaccine candidates for COVID-19 have already advanced to human clinical trials, yet absurdly, the nation’s seven primate research centers have banded together to push a desperate scheme to subject several hundred monkeys to a cruel and unnecessary vaccine comparison study, which will cost tax-payers an estimated $10 million.
Please send a polite letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to let them know you strongly reject this needless plan to infect monkeys with COVID-19.
The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPR) and the six other primate centers are seeking funding to establish a vaccine comparison study comparing monkey data with the human trials. Nancy Haigwood, director of ONPR, claims that a side-by-side comparison of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in monkeys would clearly indicate which is the safest and most efficacious vaccine in humans.
Yet, monkeys do not become sick with COVID as humans do and animal research has consistently proven to be inadequate, misleading and even dangerous, when applied to humans.
Animal trials in vaccine research are widely regarded as inferior to human trials, so much so, that at least one company, Moderna, bypassed animal testing with their COVID-19 vaccine and went straight to human clinical trials. Tal Zaks, chief medical officer at Moderna, said “I don’t think proving this in an animal model is on the critical path to getting this to a clinical trial.”
Furthermore, vaccine companies have already published data about vaccine candidate safety and efficacy tested on monkeys, and large-scale human trials are well underway.
Even proponents of animal testing recognize that monkeys are not adequate models for studying viral disease course in humans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, who has decades of experience using animals to study vaccines and infectious diseases, admits that confusing data from animal experiments has “been one of the banes of our existence”.
Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership created to fast track the search for a vaccine for COVID-19, has already refused to fund the proposed monkey vaccine comparison study. Chief scientific adviser, Moncef Slaoui, states “Frankly, I did this for 30 years, and the primate study is relevant to give you information before the clinical trial. But when you have a phase III trial in tens of thousands of subjects, the relevance of that information is 10 times, 100 times more significant”.
The primate centers are now frantically appealing to NIH for funding. Please tell the NIH to reject this cruel, reckless and unnecessary study to infect hundreds of monkeys with COVID-19.
Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established to highlight and promote research without animals.
Please donate to support CAARE’s mission to end animal suffering by disseminating information about the power and progress of research without animals.