The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has launched an early-stage clinical trial to test an inactivated Zika vaccine candidate in humans, the National Institutes of Health announced yesterday. It expects to complete the study by fall 2018. Four additional studies of the candidate vaccine in humans are expected to launch in coming months. In previous studies, the vaccine induced antibodies that neutralized the virus in non-human primates.
“We urgently need a safe and effective vaccine to protect people from Zika virus infection as the virus continues to spread and cause serious public health consequences, particularly for pregnant women and their babies,” said Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. NIAID also is testing an investigational DNA vaccine for Zika in humans. (Tim Pfarr)