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We need your help!



This month, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent messages to every Democratic member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives asking them to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter addressed to the Appropriations Committee to demonstrate their support for allocating $1.13 billion to the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — known as the “Section 317” program. The more senators and representatives that sign on to the letters, the better the chance that the 317 program will receive increased funding in the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) budget. Senators will be able to sign Sen. Reed’s letter until March 31 at 5pm and representatives will be able to sign Rep. Schiff’s letter until March 23 at noon.

Action Needed

  • Call or email your senators and ask them to sign on to the Senator Reed (D-RI) letter and call or email your Representative to sign on to the Schiff (D-CA) letter requesting $1.13 billion in funding for the Section 317 Immunization Program in the FY24 Labor-HHS appropriations bill.​​​


  • In your message, give an example of why your state needs additional funding for vaccine program operations and infrastructure, and vaccine purchases. Sample talking points are included below.​


  • Your senators may have signed on to the same letter last year. If so, thank them and ask for their continued support by signing on again this year. The list of senators who signed on is below.*

Contacting a Congressional Office


  • Representative. It is best to call the Washington office, not the local district office. Go online to and search by state to find your Members of Congress. From there, you can directly call or email their offices. To email your senators and Representative, click “contact,” and you will be taken to the Member’s email form. As you fill out these forms, be sure to use the provided talking points in the body of your email.    


  • When calling your senators or Representative’s office, ask to speak with the staff person who handles 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/Representative 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/Representative Schiff’s Office.


  • The deadline to sign on to the Senate letter is March 31 by 5 pm. OR The deadline to sign on to the House letter is March 23 by noon.  

  • 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 in societal costs. For each dollar invested in the U.S. childhood immunization program, there are over ten dollars of societal savings and three dollars in direct medical savings.


  • Unfortunately, millions of children and adults have missed routine vaccinations due to the pandemic, putting years of success in jeopardy. Vaccination coverage has dropped a total of two percentage points since the start of the pandemic – from 95% reported in the 2019-20 school year to 93% in the 2021-22 school year. This means there are more than 275,000 kindergartners who may not be completely protected against common, and sometimes very serious, vaccine-preventable diseases. 


  • An effective vaccine campaign is critical to controlling COVID-19, requiring the establishment and maintenance of a robust public health immunization infrastructure. 

  • Providing $1.13 billion for the Section 317 Program in FY24 would sustain the improvements made through the emergency supplemental bills to ensure both routine immunizations are restored and future preparedness is assured.


  • I can email you the Dear Colleague with the staff contact in Senator Reed’s Office/ Representative Schiff’s office.


Sen. Reed’s Dear Colleague Letter

Staff Contact: Jill Boland


Rep. Schiff’s Dear Colleague Letter

Staff Contact: Kaitlyn Kelly

*The Following Members of Congress signed on to the same letter last year:

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Margaret Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Angus King Jr. (I-ME), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

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