March 15, 2018
The Honorable Tom Cole
Chairman
House Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies
Subcommittee
2358B Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member
House Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies
Subcommittee
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro,

As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we write to ask for full funding of immunization-related activities at the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), and Education Appropriations bill.

Immunizations are a sound investment because they are a highly cost-effective form of preventive medicine that help save lives by protecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in communities nationwide. Vaccines not only help protect the immunized person but they can also help protect those around them who may not be able to be immunized because they are too young to be vaccinated themselves or suffer from a health condition that prevents them from being immunized.

We ask the Committee to strongly support the following programs in the FY19 LHHS bill:

➢ $650 million for the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The immunization program at CDC provides funding to state and local health departments to carry out a variety of activities vital to the prevention, detection and mitigation of vaccine-preventable conditions. These essential grants are utilized not only for the purchase of vaccines for children, adolescents and adults, but also to support a number of other important activities, including: surveillance, safety and effectiveness studies, education and outreach, implementation of evidence-based community interventions to increase immunization coverage among underserved and high-risk populations, and vaccine-preventable disease outbreak response. At a time when disease outbreaks—from measles in Minnesota to Zika in Miami—are on the rise, these resources are vital to communities across the country, many of whom rely solely on these funds to support their immunization activities. Over the past several years, immunization infrastructure financing has grown more complex, with around 50 percent of immunization funding coming from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

➢ $6.4 million for the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO). NVPO plays an essential role in coordinating immunization activities among the various federal agencies. These dollars will also help ensure robust implementation of the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIP). This comprehensive plan lays out overarching goals along with a series of tangible objectives aimed at raising adult immunization rates in line with federal targets. The NAIP also contains specific milestones intended to monitor progress on improving adult immunization.

Now more than ever, we must fully fund immunization programs to prevent and mitigate disease outbreaks. We look forward to working with your office as the FY19 appropriations process gets underway. For further information, please contact the AVAC managers at 202-540-1070 or info@adultvaccinesnow.org.

Sincerely,
Alliance for Aging Research
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Immunization Registry Association
American Public Health Association
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Immunization Managers
Association of Occupational Health Nurses
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Dynavax
Every Child By Two
Families Fighting Flu
GSK
Hep B United
Hepatitis B Foundation
Immunization Action Coalition
Immunization Coalition of Washington, DC
Infectious Diseases Society of America
March of Dimes
Medicago
National Association of City and County Health Officials
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
Novavax
Pfizer
Sanofi
Scientific Technologies Corporation
Seqirus
Takeda Vaccines
The Gerontological Society of America
Trust for America’s Health