4 thoughts on Zika vaccine research from NIH's Dr. Anthony Fauci

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are hoping to push a Zika vaccine into clinical trials at the end of the summer, but funding has been held up in Congress' political disputes.

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently spoke with Kaiser Health News about Zika vaccines and funding issues.

"Very soon — and when I say soon, I'm talking July, August — we're going to run out of…money," he told KHN.

Here are four more thoughts from Dr. Fauci, pulled from his KHN interview.

1. The vaccine would target women of child-bearing age, not pregnant women. "It is likely — even though people don't seem to understand that — that you would not be vaccinating pregnant women," he said. "The fundamental target is women of child-bearing age before they're pregnant to protect them during pregnancy."

2. Zika vaccine development funds are being diverted from other vaccine funds. Dr. Fauci and the NIAID have diverted funds from malaria, universal flu and tuberculosis research funds, he told KHN. "We were borrowing money. We were mortgaging our resources."

3. Research on other viruses has expedited the Zika vaccine work. "Many of the things we're doing now are derivatives of things we had done with other vaccines," Dr. Fauci said. Namely, work on West Nile and dengue has been most helpful.

4. Lessons can be drawn from Ebola epidemic response. "Although they are very, very different, the common denominator is that if you are dealing with an emerging outbreak, in order to get control over it, you have to have the resources to act quickly and not wait around for them," Dr. Fauci said.

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