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Politics, Policy & Law

FDA could receive additional $500M for COVID-19 vaccines, therapies

Feb 10, 2021 | 9:56 PM GMT

Budget legislation released Tuesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee includes $500 million for FDA to review and facilitate the development and postmarketing surveillance of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, and address drug shortages.

FDA could also put the funding bolus toward advanced continuous manufacturing related to vaccines, and to conduct of inspections related to the manufacturing of vaccines, therapeutics and devices delayed or canceled for reasons related to COVID–19.

The committee is slated to vote Thursday on the proposal, which is part of the process of allocating the spending authorized in budget bills passed by both houses of Congress. The Senate passed the bill Feb. 5 in a 51-50 vote that relied on Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.  

Other specifics in the Energy and Commerce bill include $46 billion to HHS to “detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 infections,” according to a committee summary. Some of this funding would support developing, manufacturing, procuring, distributing and administering tests.

A $1.8 billion increase in CDC funding would include support for state, local, tribal or territorial public health departments to conduct genomic sequencing of COVID-19 variants.

Congress is expected to enact the budget reconciliation bill by mid-March.

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