Zika vial heading to Hawaii for vaccine work


As the Zika virus continues is worldwide tear, a vial is heading to Hawaii for animal trials on a potential vaccine.

On Tuesday, a state board approved a 2009 application from the university’s Dr. Vivek R. Nerurkar to bring a vial to the school from the CDC in Atlanta, according to KHON. The virus will be used to develop a potential vaccine.

Nerurkar first applied to receive a Zika vial after an outbreak in 2009 in Yap and French Polynesia.

The university will now run animal tests, joining other organizations and biopharma companies large and small in trying to combat the virus that has been linked to thousands of microcephaly cases and to cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Separately, this week the WHO updated on a multimillion dollar funding gap in its Zika control efforts that involve 23 health partners. The WHO’s gap is more than $15 million while total shortfalls are more than $47 million, according to an interim report.

However, the WHO rejected a call from scientists and others who asked the agency to support moving the upcoming Olympics from Brazil; the agency said such a change would “not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus.”

Dozens of organizations and private companies are involved in the Zika vaccine race, with reports surfacing last week that some are being cautious with their development to seek assurance that a potential vaccine would have a market. Some experts are worried that by the time a vaccine could be made, people will start to begin developing natural immunity.

- here’s KHON’s story
more from the Honolulu Star Advertiser
- and more on the WHO updates

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