GENEVA / ZIKA UPDATE

12-Feb-2016 00:01:37
A top World Health Organization (WHO) official said that a Zika virus vaccine would take “approximately 18 months” before it can be launched into large scale trial to demonstrate efficacy. WHO / FILE
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STORY: GENEVA / ZIKA UPDATE
TRT: 01:37
SOURCE: WHO / FILE
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 FEBRUARY 2016, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
12 FEBRUARY 2016, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, briefing room
2. Pan right, reporters
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director- General, Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Our knowledge of what is currently in the pipeline tells us that it will take approximately 18 months before a vaccine can be launched into large scale trial to demonstrate efficacy.”
4. Med shot, reporter
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director- General, Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization (WHO):
“For our research and development response to Zika, we have been very quick in getting our act together and moving. This is based on the fact that after the Ebola crisis, we began to develop a plan for accelerating R&D for future epidemics and this is called the R&D Blueprint. Working under the umbrella of the R&D Blueprint allows us to move quite quickly.”
6. Close up, photographer
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director- General, Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization (WHO):
“It is very important that data and information are shared as quickly as possible, because they can inform what the best strategies are for the response and they can inform also about the causality link between the symptoms that we see now - microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome - and Zika infection."

FILE - MINUSTAH - 28 JANUARY 2016, PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI

8. Close up, lab technician working with samples
9. Close up, urine sample

FILE – WHO - AUGUST 2012 – HONDURAS

10. Close up, mosquito
11. Med shot, researchers studying mosquitoes

FILE – WHO - AUGUST 2012 – HONDURAS

12. Med shot, mother and baby in bed under mosquito net
STORYLINE
A top World Health Organization (WHO) official said that a Zika virus vaccine would take “approximately 18 months” before it can be launched into large scale trial to demonstrate efficacy.

Speaking today (12 Feb) in Geneva, WHO's Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny noted that at least 15 vaccines companies, or academic groups, already have an active programme on Zika vaccines or they are planning to start one.

She said, “for our research and development response to Zika, we have been very quick in getting our act together and moving. This is based on the fact that after the Ebola crisis, we began to develop a plan for accelerating R&D for future epidemics and this is called the R&D Blueprint. Working under the umbrella of the R&D Blueprint allows us to move quite quickly.”

The expert said that ten other companies are at various stages of development. She pointed out, however, that none of these tests have been independently validated and none have regulatory approval.

Dr. Kieny also said, “it is very important that data and information are shared as quickly as possible, because they can inform what the best strategies are for the response and they can inform also about the causality link between the symptoms that we see now - microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome - and Zika infection.

Regarding vector control, she explained that innovative methods seem promising options - biological approaches for example, such as the controlled release of bacteria to prevent viral replication in mosquitoes; or genetic approaches, such as the release of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the mosquito population.

WHO continues working on landscape analyses for diagnostics and vaccines, as well as therapeutics, and innovative vector control measures. These analyses will be published on WHO’s website in the next two weeks.
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