Potential Zika virus vaccine developed in Kansas

Researchers think their vaccine could be available in 2018

A researcher holds a container with female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil (AP File Photo/Andre Penner)
A researcher holds a container with female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil (AP File Photo/Andre Penner)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Scientists at the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State have come up with a DNA vaccine. A vaccine that’s safer and more effective to protect humans from the Zika virus. And the vaccine was developed on Kansas State’s campus.

Dr. Stephen Higgs at the B.R.I. said what makes the vaccine better is because it creates memory responses in the body and doesn’t have harmful effects.

“It’s a vaccine that produces a protein that sort of tricks the body into thinking that it’s been affected with the real virus,” Higgs said. “And then it produces antibodies.”

Meaning your body develops an immunity to the virus. So if you ever get infected with Zika, your body will know exactly how to handle the virus.

Higgs said first he and other researches needed to see if their vaccine actually worked.

“In order to do that, what they needed to do was to vaccinate the animals and then challenge them with the real virus that’s currently circulating.”

Higgs said the shot is expected to protect you from the Zika virus for at least five years. He expects the cost to be minimal to consumers.

So when can you get your hands on this vaccine? Higgs says this vaccine will be available and approved for us sometime in 2018.

Originally published by our Media General sister station KSNT-TV