Washington, D.C. — Today, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced the Coronavirus Vaccine and Therapeutic Development Act to ensure that the United States will be able to mass-produce and administer COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics quickly and efficiently. This bill is an updated version of the Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act, which Kuster and Jeffries introduced last June. The Coronavirus Vaccine and Therapeutic Development Actinvests in manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies to ensure our supply can meet demand targets to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. The legislation also requires a cross-agency report that will provide greater transparency into our vaccine and therapy supply chain and distribution plans.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will not be over for any of us until it is over for all of us,” said Rep. Jeffries. “As we work to vaccinate our first responders and the most vulnerable, we must also start preparing to vaccinate the entire American public. I am proud to join Rep. Annie Kuster in introducing legislation to help ensure that we stand ready to mass-produce and administer a COVID-19 vaccine quickly and efficiently to every community in the United States.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines are one of our best tools to end this pandemic, but to get them widely and equitably distributed requires coordinated, strategic leadership from the federal government,” said Rep. Kuster. “I’m thrilled that the incoming Biden-Harris Administration has made vaccine distribution a top priority, and the Coronavirus Vaccine and Therapeutic Development Act will support their vaccination plan. This legislation will help to ensure transparency in our vaccination efforts and that Americans — especially communities that have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus — will not face unnecessary delays or obstacles to getting vaccinated.”
The Coronavirus Vaccine and Therapeutic Development Act would authorize $20 billion to expand upon the down payment made on vaccines and therapeutics in the end-of-year spending bill from 2020. This legislation also invests in COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic development, research, procurement, and expanded manufacturing capacity; channels funding through the Office of the Secretary in the Department of Health & Human Services to reflect the cross-agency coordination necessary for this undertaking; and requires a report from the Secretary to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction to ensure transparency in the process.
The original version of this legislation, the Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act, was introduced in the 116th Congress.