The Valley Fever Alliance (VFA) of Maricopa County is now Arizona Victims of Valley Fever (AVVF) and both have been involved in the Walk since its conception in 2009. The VFA of Tucson is a different organization from AVVF.
Developing a vaccine for Valley Fever is an ambitious project. However, the successful effort will reap huge benefits, not only in ending the devastation to victims and their families, but also in financial savings in the workplace. Employers feel the burden in lost work days, weeks and even months. Workers Compensation/employer insurance claims drain even more resources.
The medical and indirect cost for people with the most benign form of Valley Fever may not cost anything; however, the more serious form of the disease can produce costs ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per case. For those individuals contracting the more severe forms of Valley Fever, the per case costs climb dramatically, ranging from $30,000 to $500,000, especially for those who get meningitis or who are hospitalized for an extended period. It is estimated there is as many as 7,500 new cases of Valley Fever each year in the United States alone. This translates to an annual cost of $60 million.
As a corporate sponsor, your company joins with other like minded organizations to fund a vaccine for Valley Fever and prevent the disease. Your contribution is an investment in a healthier future for your employees, their families and the entire community in which you live and work.
We can end the suffering. Development of a vaccine for Valley Fever is already underway. Involvement and participation have come from many sectors and at many levels. The vaccine project has received support from companies, individuals and organizations in the Western United States and Northern Mexico.
Building on the foundation laid by the nonprofit Valley Fever Research Foundation, the vaccine fund raising effort was initiated by Rotary Clubs in District 5240 of Rotary International. In 1995 the Valley Fever Americas Foundation was formed, and incorporated as a nonprofit tax-exempt foundation in 1996. Within the year the project was warmly received by other clubs and districts in California, Southwest United States and Northern Mexico.
The project is expected to cost approximately $25 million. The medical aspect of the Valley Fever Vaccine Project is divided into three phases, which can be described as:
1. Research This phase of the project is well underway with a candidate vaccine identified.
2. Engineering, Development/Manufacturing a Vaccine This phase was launched in 2002 with the initiation of manufacturing trials.
3. Clinical Testing The clinical testing phase of the project is divided into three segments and will take up to five years to complete.