Participants in the unauthorised herpes vaccine trial in St. Kitts and Nevis are speaking out after the troubling circumstances of the trial come to light.
The vaccine trial involved 20 United States and British citizens who flew into St. Kitts and Nevis for the duration.
Marisa Taylor of Kaiser Health has said that the participants received the vaccine injection in a private residence in St. Kitts, not a medical clinic.
Kaiser Health News (KHN), a non-profit news service based in California, interviewed some participants and associates of the researcher for the trial.
William Halford was the lead researcher and developer of the vaccine for this trial.
The interviewed participants have remained anonymous over fears of backlash from Halford over discussing the trial.
The accounts reported by KHN point to serious irregularities in the offshore trial according to experts.
Participants allege Halford instructed them to draw their own blood for the trial.
From April to August 2016, the participants received three vaccine injections for herpes.
Some participants reported flu-like symptoms soon after receiving the vaccinations, though Halford dismissed these as not relating to the injections.
One participant reported receiving all three injections, despite having a terrible feeling in his stomach.
The same participant has said that Halford told him after the injections that he noticed a version of the herpes virus in mice entered the gut and killed them.
According to the consent form provided to participants, Halford would follow up on side effects and reactions for one year post-trial.
Of the 20 participants, two were removed from the trial due to their adverse symptoms.
Warren, the nurse on the trial, said that Halford has a duty of care to follow up.
The two participants removed from the trial have not been contacted for follow up from Halford.
“There is no doubt that these were adverse events that should have been reported,” Warren said.
Rational Vaccines has not responded to questions regarding the complains by participants.