Zika vaccine trials could come to South Florida as early as this winter.
Now that the House and Senate have agreed on a $1.1 billion Zika funding package, research and vaccine development is a federal priority.
Dr. Anthony Fauci heads the infectious disease division of the National Institutes of Health.
He said on a press call that very soon, researchers could start to test the effectiveness of Zika vaccines in people:
“So right now if there is an outbreak that continues as we get into the winter in the southern part of the hemisphere, we will be able to have individuals on the trial,” Fauci said.
Dr. Tom Frieden, who heads the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned that the vaccine would not be available to pregnant women for a while.
“You don’t go into pregnant women until you have a very good feeling of safety in individuals who are not pregnant,” Frieden said.
Instead, the target for the vaccine would be women of childbearing age who are not yet pregnant—and their partners.