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HHS to Support Brazilian Research Center’s Zika Vaccine Production Effort

medical health doctorThe Department of Health and Human Services has offered financial and technical assistance to Brazil-based Butantan Institute in an effort to help the biomedical research center produce vaccines against Zika virus.

HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will provide $3 million in funds to the Butantan Institute under a cooperative agreement with the World Health Organization, the department said Friday.

The institute can use the money to buy laboratory and manufacturing equipment, cell lines, reagents and other supplies needed for the production of infectious disease vaccines.

A team of BARDA vaccine specialists will also advise the institute on vaccine development and manufacturing, facility design and regulatory matters.

Richard Hatchett, BARDA acting director, said the effort builds on the agency’s collaboration with WHO to help countries respond to outbreaks.

HHS and WHO have supported the development and production of flu vaccines in 12 developing nations over the past decade.

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