Agencies collaborate on Zika vaccine
Scientists at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are making progress on a Zika virus vaccine, and plan to start human testing later this year. Efforts to produce the vaccine and prepare for the spread of the virus have included components of the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Health and Human Services.
In a recent interview, Army Col. (Dr.) Stephen Thomas said that the swift progress on the Zika vaccine is due to the institute’s scientists familiarity and experience with flaviviruses like Zika. Thomas said “it’s in our DNA to work on flaviviruses, and we’ve been doing vaccine development for flaviviruses since World War II.” According to Thomas, the institute began to take part in the whole-of-government response when they started to see an increase in Zika a couple years ago.
The CDC is tracking active Zika virus transmission in effected areas, and reports 618 travel-associated Zika cases, 11 sexually transmitted cases, one case of Zika-related Guillain-Barré syndrome within the continental U.S. However, there have been no reports of locally acquired mosquito-borne cases.
For more information on the vaccine, please follow the link below.
Walter Reed Scientists Test Zika Vaccine Candidate, DoD News