A Zika vaccine could be ready for human trials later this year, according to the man in charge of the US government’s research programme.

According to BBC News, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hopes to start testing a DNA vaccine by September.

Scientists at the institute helped develop a vaccine for Ebola and they are now trying to do the same for Zika, with a special focus on pregnant women because of the strongly suspected link between the virus and babies being born with under-developed brains.

Developing new vaccines can take decades, but scientists working at the labs in Maryland believe they can fast track the process because they had already been working on a vaccine for West Nile virus, which is spread by the same Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

The vaccine is one of two of the most advanced Zika vaccines being developed. The other is being developed by Bharat Biotech, an Indian company based in Hyderabad.

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