Saturday , May 8 2021

Trial For Original Vaccines Against Zika Virus To Start Immediately

In India, the first Zika outbreak was reported at Ahmedabad in January 2017.

New Delhi:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will soon conduct a trial of an indigenously developed vaccine against the Zika virus, cases that have been reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

ICMR will conduct a phase-II vaccine trial to establish vaccine efficacy and safety along with its adverse effects, a senior official said.

Vaccine producers, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, have developed vaccines, which they claim will provide protection against infections caused by strains of the Asian Zika virus as well as by African strains, he added.

"The company has developed a vaccine about two years ago. At that time we did not have a Zika outbreak in India because it was limited to Latin America.

The regulatory approval process for conducting the trial will begin soon, he informed.

Two people, who tested positive for the Zika virus, died in Bhopal. A total of 120 cases have been reported in the state.

A central team is reviewing the situation and helping the government of Madhya Pradesh to replicate actions and action plans carried out in Jaipur and Ahmedabad to control the disease, a senior official said. Rajasthan has reported 159 cases of Zika.

In India, the first Zika outbreak was reported at Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in the Krishnagiri Tamil Nadu district in July of that year. Both of these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive supervision and vector management.

During the latest viral outbreak in the country, the first case appeared on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. Since then, the number of Zika cases has increased to 153 in Rajasthan.

In Madhya Pradesh, intensive screening exercises are underway and vector control measures have been improved. The government has also advised the district government to take steps to check the breeding of mosquitoes.

The state health department has advised pregnant women not to visit the affected area.

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