Article: The first live-attenuated vaccine candidate completely protects against Zika infections
Source: utmb Health
This Zika vaccine is still being developed and only a short time after the Zika outbreak a vaccine has been developed that can completely protect against the virus. When tested on rats after only one vaccine dose the rats were completely protected. The vaccine was made from an inactive, weakened strain of the Zika virus. The virus was weakened to the point that the virus is safe to use in a vaccine. It was created by deleting a section of the viruses genome. This method has been successful in developing vaccines for other infections. The advantage of using a live virus is that the vaccine can be effective in one dose and last a lifetime. This can be very beneficial for people in countries where the Zika virus is common.
This article really fits in well with the immunology lecture, our ELISA disease tracking lab and the virus section that we learned about a little earlier in the class. Zika can be transmitted through the transfer of blood and other bodily fluids, in our lab we were able to see how diseases like this travel and spread from person to person, which is why it is so important to have a vaccine. In the virus section that we covered earlier this year we learned how some, very few, viruses can be beneficial while most others are harmful. This article provides examples for how viruses can be useful and harmful. The virus is harmful because it causes a disease but its also helpful because scientists know how to manipulate it to create a vaccine.
Critical Analysis and Questions
I think that the progress that is being made towards producing a vaccine that can protect against the Zika virus is very important. When a virus like this presents itself, spreads quickly, and has the potential to really harm people it is a scary time especially when not much is known about how the virus works/effects people and no vaccine is available yet. I was really surprised to see that so much progress has been made towards producing a vaccine, while reading this article I wondered how long it would take for the vaccine to complete the testing process and be approved by the FDA, how long does that process generally take?