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.
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.
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.
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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