ACTION ALERT ON NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION FUNDING

 

We need your help!

Background

On April 11, 2022, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) sent a message to every Democratic member of the United States Senate 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. (A link to the letter's text is attached.)  The more senators that sign on to the letter, the better the chance that the 317 program will receive increased funding in the fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget. Members can sign on until May 19, 2022.

Action Needed

 

1. Call or email your senators and ask them to sign on to the Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) letter to the Labor HHS appropriations subcommittee requesting $1.13 billion in funding for the Section 317 Immunization Program in the FY23 Senate Labor-HHS appropriations bill.​​

2. Given an example of why additional funding is needed in your state for vaccine program operations and infrastructure, and vaccine purchase.  Sample talking points are included below.​

 

Contacting a Congressional Office

1. 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 you will be taken 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.    
 
2. When calling your senator, 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).  
 
3. 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 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 new variants and the need for more boosters or annual COVID vaccinations, like annual flu vaccination. 

  • Providing $1.13 billion for the Section 317 Program in FY 2023 would sustain the improvements made through the emergency supplemental bills to ensure both routine immunizations are restored and future preparedness is assured.

The text of Senator Reed's Letter can be found here.