Zika vaccine approved for first human testing

Zika vaccine approved for first human testing
© Getty Images

Two companies announced Monday that they have received the first approval to test a Zika vaccine on humans. 

ADVERTISEMENT

While the approval from the Food and Drug Administration is early in the long process of approving a vaccine for widespread use, it is a step forward in finding a vaccine for the virus, which has become a global health emergency. 

The companies, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science, said they plan to begin testing their vaccine on humans within “weeks.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has said that the larger phase II clinical trials on the vaccine are likely to begin in early 2017 and be done by the start of 2018 at the earliest. 

Funding for vaccine research is one of the aspects of the $1.9 billion the White House requested to Congress. 

Lawmakers are trying to work out a deal between the House and Senate versions of funding legislation before the July 4 recess. 

The Senate has approved a bipartisan $1.1 billion compromise that is not paid for, while the House has a Republican-backed $622 million measure that is paid for. Democrats are pushing not to go below the higher Senate number, calling it a “floor.”