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July/August 2016
POLICY AND ADVOCACY
As US Cases Mount, IDSA Continues To Push for Zika Funding

Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was issuing an alert advising pregnant women to avoid areas of Miami where Zika transmission had been confirmed, efforts to fund the federal response to Zika were stymied in Washington, DC. IDSA’s official statement on the arrival of local transmission in the US can be found here.

IDSA continues to advocate for robust funding to address Zika, to provide Zika resources to our members, and to report on the latest Zika developments through the Center for Global Health Policy’s Science Speaks blog

After months of negotiations, Congress was unable to pass emergency funding for Zika before leaving for a seven week recess in July. IDSA and other health groups are strongly urging Congress to pass a bill immediately upon its return from recess. Please take a few minutes to use this action alert to contact your congressional representatives in support of swift passage of a Zika funding bill that does not repurpose existing funding intended for other public health priorities.

Key federal experts continue to underscore the need for new funding to address Zika. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, has noted that the response effort could have been more robust if emergency funding had passed.

On August 11th the Administration reprogrammed an additional $81 million dollars to ensure vaccine development can continue. This funding includes $34 million for the National Institutes of Health and $47 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority budget. The Administration emphasized that this funding in no way replaces or reduces the need for the $1.9 billion dollars they originally asked for in February. This funding comes at a critical time in vaccine development as one of the four vaccine candidates begins Phase 1 testing and the preparations are being made for its Phase 2 launch in the coming months. The other three are all still in the research stage, but there is hope that with additional funding one or more of them may begin clinical trials by the end of the year.

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