US health official: Widespread Zika vaccine not likely to be available for years

The White House Is Asking for $1.8B to Counter the Zika Virus
The White House Is Asking for $1.8B to Counter the Zika Virus

(Reuters) -- U.S. health officials said on Monday that a widespread vaccine to combat the Zika virus will likely not be available for years.

READ MORE: White House seeks $1.8B in emergency funds for Zika virus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters during a briefing at the White House that initial steps are under way but health officials believe it is "unlikely to have vaccine that's widely available for a few years."

More from AOL.com:
Officials: US athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika
More than 3,100 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus: government
5 amazing archaeological discoveries preserved by nature