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Obama Moves Money Around To Keep Zika Research Going Amid Lack Of Congressional Funds Allocation

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Obama Moves Money Around To Keep Zika Research Going Amid Lack Of Congressional Funds Allocation

The Zika virus continues to dominate headlines and the fact there is no known cure has many people worried. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that federal funding allocated towards research could run out by the end of the month.

However, President Barack Obama and his administration announced Thursday it will free up $81 million from other areas to make sure researchers have the necessary funds to continue working past the end of August.

Related Link: U.S. Researchers Begin Clinical Trial Of Zika Vaccine, But Funding To Run Out By August's End

According to USA Today, the Department of Health and Human Services' secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the agency will allocate $34 million towards the National Institutes of Health and another $47 million will be made available for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

USA Today added that even with the new capital, the NIH will still need $196 million in 2017 to fund a full year's worth of research. The agency is currently working on three Zika vaccines while a fourth is already proceeding in clinical trials.

Separately, BARDA's scientists are also working on a Zika vaccine and their financing needs include an additional $342 million on top of what was already transferred on Thursday.

"We've exhausted our ability to provide even short-term financing to help fight Zika," USA Today quoted Burwell as saying in a statement. Now, she said, "our nation's ability to mount the type of Zika response that the American people deserve sits squarely with Congress."

 

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