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Zika vaccine still years away: US health officials

9 February 2016 10:44


US health officials say it will be years before a vaccine can be developed and be made widely available for the Zika virus.

“The issue that we are focusing on is the issue with pregnant women,” said Doctor Anthony Fauci, the director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Monday.

Fauci said, however, that researchers may be able to do vaccine trials as early as this year.

“If it looks like it’s safe, we’ll go to the next stage,” he said, adding, however, that it could be a while before a safe, effective Zika virus vaccine became widely available.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to a rapid rise in the number of babies born with microcephaly – a condition in which the person has a abnormally small head and brain. Such babies are born to mothers infected with Zika.

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