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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Reps. Kuster, Jeffries introduce bill to ensure mass production of COVID-19 vaccine

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U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced legislation to ensure that the United States can mass produce and administer a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available.

The Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act requires the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to expand the nation’s manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines as well as the products necessary to administer the vaccines.

“In order to fully reopen our economy, put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, and move onto our ‘new normal,’ the majority of Americans will need to be vaccinated for this virus,” Kuster said. “Our nation’s top doctors and vaccine experts tell us that we are still a ways away from identifying and approving a vaccine for this virus, but we must begin working now to ensure that we are prepared to administer vaccines once one is available. This legislation will help to ensure that Americans – especially communities that have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus – will not face unnecessary delays or obstacles to getting vaccinated.”

The bill also requires the administration to provide a report assessing the vaccine supply chain and manufacturing capacity. In addition, the administration must provide an update on efforts to prepare to vaccinate Americans once a vaccine is identified and approved.

“While we haven’t gotten to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must start preparing to reopen America in a way that protects our public health,” Jeffries said. “A vaccine will be crucial to that effort, and our nation will need a plan to get one to the American people swiftly. I am proud to join Rep. Annie Kuster in introducing legislation to help create a comprehensive plan to mass-produce and administer a COVID-19 vaccine quickly and efficiently.”