Closer to a Vaccine For a ‘Pandemic in Progress’?

The National Institute of Health is making progress on Zika virus treatment with multiple vaccines producing positive results during clinical trials.


A series of National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical trials are bringing Zika virus vaccines closer to the public.

According to preliminary findings from 3 phase 1 clinical trials, an investigational Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine was well tolerated and induced an immune response. Scientists from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are developing the vaccine and leading 1 of the trials.

Of 67 adult participants, 55 received the investigational vaccine; 12 received placebo. All participants received 2 intramuscular injections 4 weeks apart. The researchers detected antibodies in > 90% of those who received the vaccine, 4 weeks after the last dose.

In phase 2 clinical trials, 2 versions of an experimental gene-based Zika vaccine, developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, were both found to be safe and to induce an immune response. One candidate showed “the most promise,” paving the way for an international phase 2/2b safety and efficacy trial, which began in 2017 and will last for 2 years.

“This trial marks a significant milestone in our efforts to develop countermeasures for a pandemic in progress,” said Anthony Fauci, MD, NIAID director

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