First human Zika vaccine trial is underway

Published: Aug. 3, 2016 at 7:04 PM EDT
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The first human clinical trial for a Zika virus vaccine is underway. Volunteers received the experimental injection Tuesday. 80 people are taking part in the first phase, which focuses on the vaccine's safety and how well it could work.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been working on the vaccine. Its director says it's long overdue because it's too hard to control mosquitoes transmitting Zika. Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "They are so resilient in being able to breed in the most stringent conditions. We say clean up water in pots, pans, tires and little pools or what have you, but these mosquitoes can breed in the smallest amount of water - even the amount of water on a bottle cap."

If early data offers promise, the vaccine could go into a "phase two" trial next year.

Meantime, President Obama is warning Congress federal money to fund vaccine development will run out by the end of the month.

80 volunteers are taking part in the first phase of the clinical trial, which focuses on theZika vaccine's safety and how well it could work.