A Florida governor on Wednesday said she will veto a bill to expand a statewide Zika vaccine and a bill that would allow the state to buy up to 50,000 doses of the virus-causing vaccine at a time.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, R-St. Petersburg, also would prohibit cities from using state funds to buy vaccine, and would require vaccine makers to post information about potential side effects on the company’s website.
The governor said her vetoes would be contingent on the Zika outbreak not worsening.
“It is very disappointing to me to see what we’re seeing right now, where we’re at,” she said.
The governor, a Republican, has said she has no plans to seek reelection next year. “
My job is to protect the people of Florida and to make sure that they are protected.”
The governor, a Republican, has said she has no plans to seek reelection next year.
The Zika virus has killed more than 7,500 people in the U.S. and caused more than 12,000 cases of microcephaly, a rare neurological condition that can lead to severe developmental problems.
In Florida, where there are about 6,000 confirmed cases of the infection, only eight babies have died.
The bill would allow Florida to purchase up to 10,000 Zika doses at a single time.
Under the proposal, which was introduced in June, the state would be able to buy the vaccine for $3.99 a dose and would have the option to purchase a dose for $11.99.
Rick Scott speaks to reporters outside the Governor’s Mansion on May 25, 2017, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Scott said the legislation would “immediately put Florida on the map” for Zika vaccines.
The measure, which passed in the House on May 22, would require that vaccines be sold to pharmacies or manufacturers, not to individuals.
The state also would have to set up a “virtual pharmacy” where people can obtain Zika vaccine, pay for it online or at a local pharmacy, and pick up a vaccine at an office of the governor’s office.
Scott also said the state should allow insurers to cover the cost of vaccines if they are purchased by patients or their families.
The U.K. has also banned the sale of the Zika virus.
On Wednesday, the United Nations health agency said it is “deeply concerned” by the Zika vaccine.
“We are in a critical phase where there is little data about its effectiveness,” the agency said in a statement.
“While there are no vaccines yet available, the World Health Organization has called for immediate testing and a full assessment of its safety and efficacy.”