ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University will begin a human clinical trial this fall for a vaccine that seeks to prevent the Zika virus.

The university said Thursday that funding from the National Institutes of Health will fund the trial. Lead researcher Dr. Sarah George says the goal is to make sure the vaccine is safe and then measure the immune response to Zika.

The vaccine contains an inactivated version of the virus. After testing in St. Louis begins, the university plans a second study in Puerto Rico, which has been hit hard by the virus.

Zika is spread primarily through mosquito bites. More than 2,200 cases have been reported in the U.S. and its territories, including more than 400 pregnant women at risk of babies with major deformities like microcephaly.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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