Florida pumps $25M toward Zika vaccine

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September 23, 2016
AP FILE Dallas County Mosquito Lab microbiologist sorts mosquitos collected in a trap in Hutchins, Texas, that had been set up in Dallas County near the location of a confirmed Zika virus infection. The quest for a vaccine began less than a year ago as Brazil's massive outbreak revealed that Zika, once dismissed as a nuisance virus, can harm a fetus' brain if a woman is infected during pregnancy.

TALLAHASSEE, Florida. (AP):

Florida Governor Rick Scott is using his emergency powers to direct $25 million in state money toward helping to develop a Zika virus vaccine.

Scott, who has been lashing out at the federal government for failing to pass a bill that includes Zika funding, announced his unusual action yesterday.

The Republican governor said that the money will be spent exclusively on Zika research, including speeding up the creation of a vaccine and developing new Zika testing methods. The Florida Department of Health will be ordered to draw up a grant programme for universities and others interested in doing the research.

Florida has now set aside more than $61 million in the fight against Zika.