NIH Zika vaccine trial advances, thousands to enroll

An experimental vaccine meant to offer protection from the Zika virus has advanced to Phase 2/2b clinical trial testing.

The vaccine — developed by governmental scientists with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health — will be tested in at least 2,490 healthy participants. Testing sites will be located in areas with either confirmed active mosquito-borne Zika transmission, or areas determined to be at-risk for active local transmission.

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"We are pleased to have advanced rapidly one of NIAID's experimental Zika vaccines into this next stage of testing in volunteers. We expect this study will yield valuable insight into the vaccine's safety and ability to prevent disease caused by Zika infection," said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD. "A safe and effective Zika vaccine is urgently needed to prevent the often-devastating birth defects that can result from Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Evidence also is accumulating that Zika can cause a variety of health problems in adults as well. This trial marks a significant milestone in our efforts to develop countermeasures for a pandemic in progress."

Participants will be enrolled in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
With mosquito season approaching, Florida leaders work on new Zika plan: 7 things to know 
Miami-Dade sees new locally acquired case of Zika 
WHO: Zika is still a threat

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