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Pallone Leads Call for Equitable and Coordinated COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

October 13, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today led a letter urging the Trump Administration to work with the State of New Jersey to ensure that an eventual COVID-19 vaccine is effectively and equitably distributed in the state. In writing to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield, the Democratic Members of the House of Representatives from New Jersey requested that the agency take every step necessary to ensure that federal, state, and local governments work together to effectively administer a COVID-19 vaccine. New Jersey health officials have set a target of vaccinating 70% of New Jersey residents.

“As the nation continues to battle the coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and prepares for the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine, we write to encourage cooperation between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of New Jersey, and local health departments within the state. Once a vaccine is approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and made available to patients, coordination of all levels of government will be necessary to successfully carry out the largest vaccination campaign in our nation’s history,” the Members wrote.

The Members also emphasized the need for the equitable distribution of resources to ensure that everyone who needs the vaccine can get it. “From additional workforce needs to personal protective equipment (PPE), cold storage capacity, technological infrastructure, and public outreach and awareness, already scarce resources will be stretched even further.  We stand ready to support the state in its goals, including by providing additional federal financial resources,” the Members wrote. “We encourage you to ensure CDC allocates these public health resources fully and equitably. As one of the most diverse states in the country, we also recognize that communities will have differing needs. Involvement and cooperation of local health departments and community organizations, as well as the state, will be critical to ensuring a vaccine is distributed effectively.”

As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Pallone has fought to ensure that science and patient safety guide the Food and Drug Administration’s review of any potential COVID-19 vaccine. Pallone authored key passages of the updated Heroes Act that provides $28 billion in additional funding for a COVID-19 vaccine.

A copy of the letter is available here.