• CORRESPONDENCE

COVID: treatment trials are still urgent

It is obviously difficult to initiate and rapidly enrol people in prospective double-blinded randomized clinical trials of treatments during a rapidly evolving pandemic (see Nature 593, 182–185; 2021) — particularly when extremely effective vaccines are available. But we still need therapeutics. Vaccinations do not give immediate or 100% protection and could be undermined by resistant strains.

The United States is fast losing treatment and control groups as more and more of the population are vaccinated. But not all countries are so fortunate. In India, where the disease is still exploding, treatments could save countless lives.

Worldwide, this is a fundamental scientific and social issue. We must find ways to rapidly set up rigorous prospective clinical trials in places where the vaccine could arrive too late — and to run such trials in health-care systems that are already pushed to the brink.

Nature 594, 26 (2021)

Competing Interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Nature Briefing

An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing