The 317 Coalition was formed in April 2006 by a group of leaders in the immunization community, including non-profit immunization advocacy organizations, academic and provider institutions, professional associations, and vaccine manufacturers.
This coalition is solely focused on advocating for increased 317 funding, and as such will focus on implementing the policies of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other relevant policy making bodies. It in no way makes or attempts to influence immunization policy.
The mission of the coalition is to educate Members of Congress about the needs of the CDC immunization program. The Coalition advocates for increased federal appropriations to ensure that the immunization infrastructure at the national, state and local levels is adequately funded, while providing a safety net for underserved populations so they can receive recommended vaccines to protect them from disease.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made great strides toward expanding health coverage to millions more Americans. The rollout of the ACA, coupled with the growth in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, a mandatory federal funding stream, has shifted the function of the 317 program, now evolving to focus primarily on critical infrastructure needs for our nation’s immunization policy. In support of the VFC program, the 317 program conducts: the science that informs our evidence base, outbreak detection and response, vaccine safety and effectiveness oversight, outreach campaigns and provider education. Neither the ACA nor the VFC program sufficiently supports the public health functions that must be in place to ensure safe and effective national immunization policies. As such, the 317 program works synergistically with ACA provisions and the VFC program as a critical tool in sustaining high vaccination coverage levels and low incidence of disease.
The 317 Coalition has endeavored to achieve language creating a Congressional directive for CDC to submit to Congress an annual Professional Judgment Budget on the funding level to fully implement the 317 program. Most recently, the CDC report indicated that over $963 million, an increase of over $250 million, is needed for the 317 program in order to fully address the need of the program to preserve core public health infrastructure at the local, state and federal levels.
The 317 coalition is a virtual network of organizations, led by a steering committee, and staffed by a Washington D.C.- based government relations firm. The coalition has become a resource for member organizations to share data and information about the needs of the national immunization program for advocacy purposes. It is also a vehicle for smaller state and local organizations who do not have resources to follow Capitol Hill on a daily basis, to receive free action alerts, talking points, information, and tips on how and when to engage their Congressional delegation in support of increased funding for immunization programs. The coalition seeks to continually recruit national, state and local organizations with an interest in child and adult immunization to expand an effective grass roots advocacy network to as many state and Congressional districts as possible. There is no cost to join the coalition.