COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus Statement On $2 Billion For Vaccine Manufacturing In Build Back Better Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The co-chairs of the COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), and Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Ed Markey (MA), issued the following statement today on the House Energy and Commerce Committee passing its portion of the Build Back Better Act, which includes $2 billion to expand global and domestic vaccine manufacturing:
“We are encouraged that the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed its portion of the Build Back Better Act today with the inclusion of $2 billion to support expanded global and domestic vaccine production capacity. According to one estimate, this funding is sufficient to produce an additional 1 billion doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine or an additional 500 million doses of the NIH-Moderna vaccine by mid-2022. With nearly 60% of the world yet to receive a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine — including less than 2% of people living in low-income countries — we must dramatically expand global access to these life-saving vaccines. This is not only to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, but also to prevent the emergence of new, increasingly dangerous coronavirus variants, like the Delta variant, from eroding our progress toward ending the pandemic here in the United States.
As co-chairs of the COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus, we believe that this $2 billion is just a starting point in fulfilling President Biden’s pledge to make America an ‘arsenal of vaccines for the world.’ As laid out in the NOVID Act (H.R. 3778/S.1976), the global need to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution is closer to $34 billion. As we work to increase funding for global vaccine access in Congress, we will continue to press the White House for a clear plan for how they intend to dramatically expand vaccine production — ensuring we get the full investment necessary to end this pandemic in America and around the world, once and for all.
We cannot stand idle while the rest of the world burns, nor can we wait for the next deadly variant to reach U.S. shores. The COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus is pleased that the Energy and Commerce Committee has taken this initial action, and we will continue to fight for more funding to increase manufacturing capacity and to ensure end-to-end delivery of vaccines around the world.”