WASHINGTON D.C. (WTNH) – Connecticut U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and US Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) are calling for $1 billion in funding for a universal influenza vaccine that would offer enhanced protection against the illness.
DeLauro and Markey have reintroduced the Flu Vaccine Act to invest in research for a universal influenza vaccine.
The legislation is calling for $1 billion for the National Institute of Health for the research.
DeLauro has secured more than $1.1 billion since 2018 to invest in research for a universal influenza vaccine that would protect against multiple strains of the illness and offer longer-lasting protection.
“Influenza is responsible for between 12,000 and 52,000 deaths annually in the United States, up to 650,000 globally. This impact and the deadly toll are staggering considering we have had annual vaccines for decades. Currently, health officials are forced to predict what strains the annual flu vaccine should try to combat in any given flu season. The Flu Vaccine Act would fix this problem by investing in the creation of a universal flu vaccine—saving lives by taking the guesswork out of the equation,” DeLauro said.