EDINBURG – An experimental Zika virus vaccine arrived in the Rio Grande Valley and is ready for trial.
Researchers at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance are asking people between the ages of 15 to 35 to participate in the study.
During the course of the two-year trial, volunteers may receive the vaccine. It does not carry a live form of the virus meaning it can’t cause a Zika virus infection.
The vice president of Research and Development at DHR, Dr. Lisa Trevino, said people with no significant illnesses are best for the study.
“These are healthy volunteers, those that have not been clinically diagnosed with any relevant medical illness,” she said.
She also claimed both forms of mosquitoes that carry the virus are in the Valley.
DHR is also working to find out if the vaccine can prevent diseases caused by Zika. Dr. Patrick Noonan said researchers in Brazil are uncovering more concerning facts about the virus.
“In addition to microcephaly, the Brazilians are now telling us there are other anomalies of children who, say, are born with normal-sized heads and we discover that they don’t grow properly because of subtle anomalies we pick up later,” he said.
Dr. Noonan said the virus may also lead to spinal cord deformities in children.