The House of Representatives voted this week to advance the Securing America from Epidemics (SAFE) Act, which would authorize U.S. participation in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).
CEPI is a public-private partnership focused on developing vaccines for highly infectious pathogens, though like many, it is currently focused on solutions for COVID-19. It recently announced the COVAX Marketplace as a way to match buyers with suppliers through a secure platform and overcome short-term bottlenecks in the vaccine supply chain.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the power of infectious diseases. In just months, the virus spread across the globe, causing widespread human suffering and economic turmoil,” said U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), who introduced the bill with U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). “The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has been a critical partner in our international fight against COVID-19, providing early funding for the Moderna vaccine and is leading COVAX, the global effort to manufacture and equitably distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to communities across the globe.”
The bill passed as standalone legislation, although it was also included in both versions of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act advanced by the House of Representatives last year.
“We have seen firsthand the widespread, devastating effects of a global pandemic on our health, economy, and national security this past year,” Fitzpatrick said. “Unfortunately, this will not be the last contagious and deadly virus our world will battle and confront, which is why it is of the utmost importance our country continues to be a leader in global health.”