Could We Have a Zika Vaccine Soon? - NBC 7 San Diego
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Could We Have a Zika Vaccine Soon?



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    RECIFE, BRAZIL - JANUARY 26: Biologist Danielle Varjal demonstrates her research with Aedes aegypti mosquitos in a lab at the Fiocruz institute on January 26, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits the Zika virus and is being studied at the institute. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. The ailment results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders including decreased brain development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus outbreak is likely to spread throughout nearly all the Americas. At least twelve cases in the United States have now been confirmed by the CDC. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Two potential methods for a vaccine against the Zika virus could be ready for clinical trials in people by the end of the year, but there will not be a widely available vaccine for several years, experts said this week, NBC News reported.

    "It is to our advantage we already have existing vaccine platforms to use as a sort of jumping off point," said Dr. Tony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). 

    The NIAID is currently pursuing at least two approaches to a Zika vaccine. The first being a DNA-based vaccine using a strategy similar to what was employed for the West Nile virus, Fauci told reporters. The second is a live vaccine, "building on similar and highly immunogenic approaches used for the closely related dengue virus."