Race for the Zika Vaccine: The Army Advantage

When the Zika virus emerged as a global threat, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research drew on its expertise in vaccinology and flaviruses to develop the ZPIV vaccine in record time.

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(And clearly, in the face of a public health emergency, like we saw with Ebola and like we're seeing now with Zika, that's not acceptable.)

COL Thomas


…You could call us a one-stop shop… … We’re able to conceptualize vaccine candidates. We’re able to make prototypes. We’re able to do basic science experiments…We’re able to produce our own vaccines that can actually go then into people in initial safety experiments.

[COL Thomas 17:23]

The Pilot Bioproduction Facility is where we actually manufacture the vaccines that ultimately get tested in the human trials that we do. And they don't only make the final product, they do a lot of process development. They do a lot of experimentation. They figure out the best way to go from a prototype to something that the FDA will allow to be tested in humans. And that's a very unique capability that we have that a lot of organizations do not have. And it allows us to move very fast. 17:53

[COL Thomas 18:30]

The Insectary provides a huge number of insect colonies that allow us to look at how different pathogens interact with the insects that transmit them.

[MAJ McCardle 1:53]

This is the Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit.

[MAJ McCardle 25:24]

My job as an army entomologist is to protect soldiers by giving commanders the information they need to reduce the risk from disease-carrying insects.

 [COL Michael 11:47]

One of the wonderful things about working in Army medicine is that soldier health really is global health.

The same time that we are protecting our war fighters that are going into harm's way, we're also working on diseases that are critical to global health.