Human trials begin for Zika vaccines

(CNN)The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has injected two human volunteers with an experimental DNA-based Zika vaccine, Director Anthony Fauci announced today, a month ahead of its projected schedule for vaccine development.

"If it's a home run, we'll know pretty quickly," Fauci said, adding that if it is successful, phase 2 trials could begin as early as January.

Human trials of another DNA-based vaccine created by Inovio Pharmaceuticals started in Miami a few days ago, but Fauci stressed that those DNA inserts are different from the ones the his agency is using.

"This vaccine includes a small piece of DNA with genes that code for Zika-virus proteins," Fauci said. It's injected via a coil spring injector into the deltoid muscle of the arm, where the body's cells read the DNA and create virus-like particles that should activate the immune system to create antibodies.

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