Democratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine

Democratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterChinese tech giants caught up in rising US-China tensions Democratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (D-N.H.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesReparations bill gains steam following death of George Floyd Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court ruling marks big win for abortion rights groups MORE (N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at ensuring the United States will be able to mass-produce and administer a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available.

The Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act includes language that would direct the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to award “contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements” to expand and improve the manufacturing capacity of vaccines and provide the necessary medical supplies to administer the vaccines. 

Under the legislation, the administration would also be required to provide a report assessing manufacturing capacity and supply chains in an attempt to be as prepared as possible to vaccinate people in the United States as soon as a vaccine is approved for use. 

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Kuster said she believes the bill will help ensure the nation won’t face “unnecessary delays and obstacles” in getting vaccinated.  

“In order to fully reopen our economy, put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, and move onto our ‘new normal,’ the majority of Americans will need to be vaccinated for this virus,” Kuster said in a statement. 

“Our nation’s top doctors and vaccine experts tell us that we are still a ways away from identifying and approving a vaccine for this virus, but we must begin working now to ensure that we are prepared to administer vaccines once one is available.”

Jeffries echoed Kuster’s sentiment, adding that he believes in a comprehensive plan to efficiently administer the vaccine.

"While we haven't gotten to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must start preparing to reopen America in a way that protects our public health,” he said in a statement. “A vaccine will be crucial to that effort, and our nation will need a plan to get one to the American people swiftly.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCDC to issue more guidance on school openings amid Trump criticism The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening MORE, a top infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, told The Journal of the American Medical Association that he’s hopeful there will be 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine available by the beginning of 2021.