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BOB HIRSHON (host):
Fast-tracking Zika vaccines. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Zika virus is spreading rapidly through parts of the Americas and can cause major birth defects in the babies of infected women. But there is some good news: researchers report in Science magazine that they’ve developed three different candidate vaccines in just under six months. This according to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center virologist Dan Barouch.
DAN BAROUCH (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center):
All three of these vaccines were completely effective at blocking Zika virus infection in monkeys. The protection was striking, because all of vaccinated animals showed no virus detectable at all. These data raise substantial optimism that the development of a Zika virus vaccine for humans will likely be possible.
Barouch says clinical trials in humans will begin over the next several months. Meanwhile, people concerned about Zika prevention should follow the recommendations of their doctors and health authorities. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.
Story by Susanne Bard