Zika Virus Vaccine Found? Human Trials Underway
Scientists have discovered three vaccines that may give complete protection against Zika virus in monkeys. Thus, human trails are on the way.Advertisement
It is believed that within a few months, effective medicine will be present to stop the infection of the virus. This discovery offers hope after months of chaos. Zika virus has been directly correlated to more than 1,700 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect resulting to babies with small heads and underdeveloped brains, reported the Telegraph.
Many scientists collaborated, including researchers from Harvard University and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, for the discovery of the vaccine. Yesterday, they declared that trials of three vaccines had been successful and provided complete immunity to rhesus monkeys.
It was reported that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases already tested an experimental DNA-based Zika vaccine injection on two human volunteers.
The news was announced by Director Anthony Fauci. It will take a month before the projected schedule for vaccine development.
“If it’s a home run, we’ll know pretty quickly,” Fauci said. He also said that if it is successful, phase 2 trials could begin as early as January.
According to CNN, another DNA-based vaccine created by Inovio Pharmaceuticals had been administered for human trials. The trials started in Miami a few days ago. However, Director Fauci claimed that these DNA inserts are entirely different from the ones his agency is developing and using.
According to Senior author Dr Dan Barouch, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, these three vaccines will provide complete protection against Zika virus. Barouch also said that trials on non-human primates are the best done before actual clinical trials.
Dr Barouch, who is also the senior author of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, said that they are optimistic due to the successful trials done on rodents and primates. He believed that the vaccines will provide “consistent and robust” protection to humans.