Several vaccines for Zika virus including a traditional inactivated virus vaccine, as well as newer DNA vaccines have passed animal tests and are now ready for human trials.
“We have about a thousand travel-related cases in the continental United States,” Says Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Disease.
“We have over 250 pregnant women among those cases that we have in the continental United States and as we get into the mosquito season, particularly in the southeastern part, in the Gulf Coast area where we have seen pockets of outbreak of other similar viruses like dengue and chikungunya, it’s concerning that we may have and likely will have localized outbreaks of Zika. … And the thing we absolutely have to do is to prevent them from becoming sustained and from becoming disseminated.”
We’re now at the point of about half a dozen vaccines that are at various stages of preclinical studies, from government driven to industry driven solutions.
It’s not just vaccines that are being worked on for Zika, scientists are also studying harmless bacteria that’s carried by butterflies and bees to help limit the spread of Zika by mosquitoes.
You can listen to the full interview and find out more information on Science Friday here: Zika Vaccines Ready for Testing, While Yellow Fever Shots Fall Short