The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid “challenge trials” – where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines.

It is understood the studies – first reported by the Financial Times – would be conducted in London.

The UK government said it was holding discussions about developing a vaccine through such “human challenge studies”.

No contracts have yet been signed, the BBC understands.

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A spokesman for the government said: “We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a Covid-19 vaccine through human challenge studies.

“These discussions are part of our work to research ways

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