The Indian firm, Bharat Biotech, has recently become the world’s first company to develop not one but two potential vaccines to prevent the Zika virus. The virus has been rapidly spreading all across the world and has infected millions of people, and its spread has prompted Obama to request an emergency fund from Congress.
Believed to have developed out of Brazil as late ago as April 2015, it has begun to work its way north throughout South America all the way to Florida where there are now 12 people diagnosed with the virus.
According to Quartz: “Zika doesn’t cause much harm to adults. Most infected individuals are symptomless, and those who experience a bout of fever or red rash often recover within a few days. What has raised alarm is its link to the serious neurological birth defects known as microcephaly, in which babies are born with tiny brains.”
Now, with the global rush for a usable vaccine, other international firms have begun testing. France’s Sanofi as well as Japan’s Takeda have started research on the virus however Bharat Biotech has already reached pre-clinical testing status.
It is important to note that the date in which the vaccine will reach or ever reach the market is unknown as of now. The pre-clinical testing, that is animal testing, is currently ongoing and could take up to five months, from which point it would have to be tested on humans.
Fingers-crossed that this vaccine will do well in trials!