CDC REPORT TO CONGRESS: FY22 & FY23
The annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees provides a cost estimate for how much funding it would take to fully implement and support the Section 317 Immunization Program. While this report is sent to both chambers’ Appropriations Committees, the document does not take other competing priorities that the CDC director, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the President must consider when developing the Agency’s budget request. The fiscal year 2022 (FY22) and FY23 report focuses on the program’s evolving role and the effects COVID-19 has had on immunization infrastructure. It emphasizes the program’s willingness to adapt to meet new challenges and immunization priorities throughout its 60-year history.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the U.S. economy, with the loss of millions of jobs and the disruption of the supply chain, adding to the number of uninsured individuals. The report states that “healthcare use significantly changed as patients were hesitant to visit providers for routine preventative health services, including immunization.” The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential role of the 317 Program to maintain an immunization infrastructure, improve routine immunizations, and protect the public from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Program funds help develop safe and effective vaccines, purchase doses, monitor coverage, target specific populations, respond to outbreaks, and help providers and the public make informed decisions. The 317 program is critical to supporting the nation’s ability to respond to outbreaks of VPDs.
The CDC’s priorities for the Section 317 Immunization Program for FY 2024 include:
Preserving core public health immunization infrastructure at the local, state, and federal levels
Maintaining an adequate amount of vaccine purchase to provide a vaccination safety net for uninsured adults and to ensure the ability to respond to VPD outbreaks and other vaccine urgent needs
Making strategic investments to enhance the immunization infrastructure and evidence base to improve efficiency
“Note: COVID-19 vaccines have not been included in this report. At the time of drafting, COVID-19 vaccines were federally purchased and distributed, and were provided free of charge under the terms of the federal agreements with providers participating in CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination program. Announced in April of this year, the Bridge Access Program will continue to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments after commercialization of these products in Fall 2023 through December 2024. The program will provide access to 25-30 million adults without insurance, in addition to those whose insurance does not provide cost-free coverage for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. CDC will include COVID-19 vaccine cost estimates as appropriate in future reports.”