Governor Rick Scott announced that following the inaction of the federal government to allocate funding to fight Zika, $25 million in state funds will be authorized to support research to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus and enhance Zika testing methods. To date, Governor Scott has used his emergency executive authority to authorize $61.2 million in state funds for Zika, including $26.2 million in July, $10 million last week for Zika preparedness and preparation and $25 million today for research and development. The $25 million in state funding will be allocated following a competitive grant process by the Florida Department of Health. This funding will be spent for the purpose of Zika research, including: Expediting the development of a vaccine to prevent Zika infection; and the development of innovative, cost-effective Zika testing methods.

Governor Scott said, “We must focus on finding a vaccine and enhancing our Zika testing capabilities to further protect pregnant women and their developing babies. Today, I am authorizing $25 million in state funds to support research to help develop a vaccine against the Zika virus here in Florida.”