Canada’s first clinical study for a Zika vaccine is getting underway at Laval University in Quebec City. Teams in the United States are also participating in the study.  

“This is the first time that this vaccine is given to human beings so all the pre-clinical studies have been completed and all the regulatory agencies have gone over the data and decided that the vaccine was safe to proceed with human injection and administration,” said Dr. Sylvie Trottier of Laval University’s Infectious Disease Research Centre. 

Researchers are looking for 10-15 healthy, adult volunteers to participate in the study. They’ll be looking at side effects and the overall effectiveness of the vaccine during a one-year observation period.

Laval University Faculty of Medicine professor Dr. Gary Kobinger will lead the study.

“I think it's very important that we are part of this effort to develop a vaccine against Zika and I think it's a great opportunity for us in Quebec and Canada to be part of this international effort,” said Kobinger.

The majority of people who contract the virus aren’t aware that they have it because they don’t show any symptoms.

“Eighty percent of the patients that get that virus don't even know. They don't even get sick,” said Trottier.

In some extremely rare cases it can cause paralysis and in pregnant women the virus can cause miscarriage or Microcephaly in babies.

The virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitos but there have been cases of the virus being transmitted through sexual contact. To date there have been 150 cases of Zika reported in Canada. Most people have contracted the virus through travelling to Central America.