(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement applauding a $40 million increase in federal funding for development of a universal flu vaccine included in the omnibus spending bill. Total funding for universal flu vaccine development for this fiscal year will now be $100 million.
Blumenthal has been a leading voice in calling for increased federal investment in universal flu vaccine development.
“This major increase in funding for universal flu vaccine development is a victory for American public health. Connecticut lost 119 people, including three children to flu this season alone—a catastrophic tragedy. We have an obligation to learn and do better. I was proud to help secure this new federal funding, and am committed to working to secure additional dollars needed to protect Americans from this deadly illness,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of the Flu Vaccine Act that would provide $1 billion-- $200 million for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).