August 16, 2018
Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. NIAID is sponsoring the trial.
Although most people experience a mild illness or no symptoms when infected with Zika virus, babies born to women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy may have birth defects and/or develop health problems in their early years.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito or can be transmitted through sex. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika. CDC also recommends that partners of pregnant women and couples considering pregnancy should know pregnancy risks and take certain precautions. The U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry has recorded the number of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection since 2015. As of July 17, 2018, the registry had recorded 2474 pregnancies in states and the District of Columbia and 4900 pregnancies in U.S. territories and freely associated states.