ACTION ALERT ON NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION FUNDING
We need your help!
Senator Jack Reed (RI-D) has sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to every Democratic member of the United States Senate asking them to sign on to a letter to the Appropriations Committee to support at least level funding for the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- known as “section 317” of the Public Health Service Act. (a link to the letter's text is attached.) The more Senators that sign on to the letter, the better chance the 317 Program will maintain level funding in the FY 2022 budget.
1) Call or email your Senators and ask them to support maintaining at least level funding for the Section 317 Immunization Program in the FY 2022 Senate Labor-HHS appropriations bill.
2) Let them know why maintaining at least level funding is necessary for your organization in their city or state. Sample talking points are below.
3) The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee has instructed its members to submit their funding requests by July 8th.
Contacting a Congressional Office
The US Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 can connect you with your Senator. It is best to call the Washington Office, not the local district office. To look up your Senators, go online to www.senate.gov and search by State. From there, you can directly call or email your senator. To email your senators, click contact, and it will take you to the Senator’s email form. As you fill out these forms, be sure to use the talking points below in the body for your email.
When calling your Senator, ask to speak with the staff person who handles the Health and Human Services Appropriations for the office (specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When you reach the staffer, very briefly identify your professional affiliation and work related to immunization.
Talking Points/Content for Email
I am contacting you to ask that the Senator support our request to provide $1.13 billion for the 317 Immunization Program by signing on to a letter being circulated by Senator Reed’s office.
Vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health and are among the most cost-effective ways to prevent disease. Childhood immunizations over the past twenty years have prevented 381 million illnesses and 855,000 deaths, and saved nearly $1.65 trillion of dollars in societal costs. Unfortunately, millions of children and adults have missed routine vaccinations due to the pandemic, putting years of success in jeopardy.
An effective vaccine campaign is critical to controlling COVID-19, requiring the establishment and maintenance of a robust public health immunization infrastructure.
Control of COVID-19 will likely include confronting virus variations and the potential need for booster or annual COVID vaccinations, like annual flu vaccination.
Providing $1.13 billion for the Section 317 Program in FY 2022 would sustain the improvements made through the emergency supplemental bills to ensure both routine immunization is restored and future preparedness is assured.
The text of Senator Reed's Letter can be found here