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Health News Florida

As US Senate Strikes Funding Deal, Gov. Scott Puts $25M Toward Zika Vaccine Research

Credit James Gathany / USCDCP/MGN Online

The U.S. Senate announced Thursday that a bipartisan Zika funding deal has been struck and a vote could take place next week. But, in the meantime, Governor Rick Scott has authorized $25 million to go toward researching a vaccine to combat the Zika virus.

Scott has already used his emergency executive authority to authorize about $36 million for Zika preparedness efforts.

In a Thursday release, he says the additional $25 million for a Zika virus vaccine is needed, since Congress hasn’t yet sent any funds to the state.

“The federal government needs to become a better partner,” said Scott, after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. “They need to focus on research. They need to focus on getting a vaccine. Just think about it. This is for pregnant women. This is for the developing babies. Every day that we don’t spend money or research on a vaccine means somebody possibly is impacted by this. I can’t imagine a child being born with microcephaly and the challenges that child is going to go through during their lifetime.”

Florida now has close to 870 Zika cases. 90 of those involve pregnant women, including one officials identified Thursday.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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