Brazil announces international partnership to produce Zika vaccine

Brasilia, Feb 12 (IANS) Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Castro has announced an international partnership to produce a vaccine against the Zika virus, the media reported on Friday.

The virus has recently become an international health issue with suspected links to microcephaly. It is also believed to trigger Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in individuals with a propensity for the disease.

Castro on Thursday said the two institutions — Brazil’s Evandro Chagas Institute and the University of Texas — will work to speed up initial research, and a vaccine might be ready for a two-year test in 12 months.

“We know it will take time but we are optimistic that we can develop the vaccine in a shorter time,” said Castro.

The Brazilian government will invest $2 million in the project while the amount to be invested by the US side is yet to be disclosed.

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