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Experimental Zika Virus Vaccine Trial Moves To Phase 2 In Multiple Countries [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 05, 2017 07:15 AM EDT

The experimental Zika virus vaccine trial has officially been given the go signal to move on to Phase 2 after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) declared it safe for human testing. The testing will be done in countries where confirmed Zika infections have been recorded.

This part of the experimental Zika virus vaccine trial run consists of two parts. The first part will be conducted to determine the optimal dose of the vaccine and further test its safety and efficacy. The tests will run for 12 weeks in Houston and Miami in the US and in San Juan, Puerto Rico where 90 uninfected men and women will receive either a standard or high dose of the experimental drug, The Denver Post reported.

The second part of the trial will determine if the vaccine can protect a recipient effectively if they are exposed to the virus naturally. There will be 2,400 healthy men and women in this part of the experimental Zika virus vaccine trial. This part of the trial will be double-blind where neither the research team nor the participants know who receives the vaccine or a placebo, the NIH reported.

The respondents in the second part will be assessed for over two years to determine if there will be adverse effects of the vaccine or if they will contract Zika infection. The NIAID hopes that the initial results of that could come out by the end of the year will be good. This means that if there is a massive outbreak of Zika infection anywhere in the world, the US Food and Drug Administration may allow the production of the DNA Zika vaccine on an emergency basis.

Zika infections are expected to rise in the coming months as warm weather initiates the mosquito season. The state of Florida has already confirmed two locally acquired cases of infections this year. The federal government is issuing warnings to help prevent the spread of the disease as it can cause birth defects like microcephaly, miscarriages, and stillbirths.

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