Vaccine Development for Zika Virus—Timelines and Strategies

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Abstract

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus that spread rapidly through South and Central America in 2015 to 2016. Microcephaly has been causally associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy and the World Health Organization declared Zika virus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. To address this crisis, many groups have expressed their commitment to developing a Zika virus vaccine. Different strategies for Zika virus vaccine development are being considered including recombinant live attenuated vaccines, purified inactivated vaccines (PIVs), DNA vaccines, and viral vectored vaccines. Important to Zika virus vaccine development will be the target group chosen for vaccination and which end point(s) is chosen for efficacy determination. The first clinical trials of Zika virus vaccine candidates will begin in Q3/4 2016 but the pathway to licensure for a Zika virus vaccine is expected to take several years. Efforts are ongoing to accelerate Zika virus vaccine development and evaluation with the ultimate goal of reducing time to licensure.

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