Health

Two experimental Zika vaccines show promise in monkey studies

WASHINGTON: A pair of experimental vaccines being developed by the US National Institutes of Health protected monkeys against Zika virus infection after two doses, researchers said Thursday.

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One of the vaccines, known as VRC5288, has already begun early trials in humans to test safety and efficacy, according to a study published in Science.

A phase 2 trial in Zika-endemic countries could begin next year, officials said.

The second vaccine (VRC5283) is awaiting a Phase 1 clinical trial start date.

The research involved vaccinating rhesus macaques using “the two different experimental Zika DNA vaccines in different doses,” said the NIH in a statement.

Two doses were “highly effective” at protecting macaques exposed to an infectious dose of Zika virus.

Experts say it will be years before a vaccine is developed to prevent infection from Zika, which is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause brain defects in the fetus.

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Two experimental Zika vaccines show promise in monkey studies

by AFP