(a) Funds appropriated in the Budget Act of 1998, and any other appropriations, to the State Department of Health Services for the purpose of valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) vaccine research shall be used to continue and expand the current research effort being conducted by the Valley Fever Vaccine Project.
(b) The department shall augment and amend the existing contract to support research into the development of a vaccine to protect against valley fever. The department may contract on a sole source basis with a nonprofit organization that has provided funding for vaccine research on valley fever. The contract shall require the organization to distribute research grants to support research efforts that are likely to advance the effort to develop a vaccine. This contract shall not be subject to review by the Department of General Services.
(c) The contractor shall establish an advisory group consisting of persons with relevant expertise in the fields of mycology and vaccine development and a representative from the department. The advisory group shall approve grants for those whose research is likely to advance the effort to develop a safe and effective vaccine. The contractor shall seek advice from the appropriate agencies in the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies with experience in supporting vaccine research when reviewing the research of those receiving funds under this section. Funding awards shall be made so as to complement financial support provided by the federal government.
(d) The contractor shall provide the department with periodic status reports on the progress of the researchers receiving funds pursuant to this section. The department shall review progress reports from the contractor describing the research progress and plans for future funding.
(e) The contract shall require that funding is provided on the condition that, if a valley fever vaccine is developed and successfully marketed, the state shall be reimbursed for the cost of grants made under this section in proportion to the state's contribution to the research and development effort.
(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 751, Sec. 1.5.)