Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

U.S. Senate Passes Incentive For Zika Vaccine

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Matthew Peddie/WMFE
The Florida Channel
Sen. Bill Nelson.

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill encouraging companies to develop a Zika vaccine.

Companies that develop a Zika vaccine would get fast-track FDA approval of their next venture in the future. That would be done through a voucher program.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said the vouchers have sold for $125 million dollars.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s pedal to the metal, do the research, find the cure, find the vaccine, and get it as fast as possible,” Nelson said. “But you’re looking at at least a year.”

An identical bill in the House could be passed as early as this week. Researchers largely ignored Zika because of its mild symptoms, but it has recently been linked with severe birth defects.

Nelson has also been pushing for a Zika czar, but no word from President Barack Obama if that will happen.


Abe Aboraya is a reporter for WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is part of Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.