GENEVA – The World Health Organization says possible Zika vaccines are at least 18 months away from large-scale trials.
WHO assistant director-general for health systems and innovation Marie-Paule Kieny says the U.N. health agency's response is "proceeding very quickly" and 15 companies or groups have been identified as possible participants in the hunt for vaccines.
She told reporters in Geneva Friday that WHO also believes the link between the mosquito-borne virus and abnormally small heads in some newborn children is "more and more probable," but said that determining whether there is a firm link isn't expected for "weeks to a few months." That would be an improved timetable from earlier WHO predictions for at least six months.
Kieny said that different types of possible vaccines -- such as live or killed virus, or use of DNA vaccines -- may lead to differences in timing on development, but developers "are all starting at a very basic level for the time being."