The White House has announced plans to give states more leeway to develop their own vaccines.
The move comes as Congress debates a proposal to expand vaccine coverage to all adults.
The president said Wednesday that he will sign an executive order that will provide states more flexibility to make their own decisions about the development of their own Zika vaccine.
“The president has directed the White House to submit to Congress a proposed guidance that provides additional flexibility for states to develop vaccines,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
She added that the president’s executive order will provide the flexibility to expand the use of vaccines to more than 30 million people.
While the White Houses announcement is still being finalized, the move is likely to be welcomed by the pharmaceutical industry, which has been working for years to develop and produce a vaccine for the Zika strain of the virus.
A vaccine for that strain is not expected to become available until 2019, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue guidelines for states and other health care providers.
But there are concerns about the efficacy of the vaccines being produced in this country, given the current outbreak.
The CDC has also been working on a Zika vaccine for about a year.
That vaccine is still in the research phase and will not be ready for the general public until at least 2019, but the administration has said that there is still some way to go.