Supplemental funding expedites vaccine development and assists state efforts to meet public health needs

Wednesday, March 4, 2020- Washington, D.C.– Today, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Representative Katherine Clark (MA-5) joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing an $8.3 billion emergency aid package to provide for a fully-funded, coordinated, and comprehensive government-wide response to the emerging COVID-19 outbreak.

“Our most basic job as elected officials is to keep Americans safe,” said Congresswoman Clark. “With more cases emerging in Massachusetts and across the country, it is essential that we have a whole-of-government approach to fight the spread of coronavirus and keep families healthy. This critical legislation will go directly to our communities on the front lines of this public health emergency and speed up efforts to develop affordable vaccines.”

The emergency funding package includes:

  • Over $3 billion for vaccine development efforts
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response efforts undertaken by state and regional agencies and medical services
  • Nearly $1 billion to procure additional medical supplies and help ensure that our hospitals and Community Health Centers are prepared for a potential surge in patients

Funding for State and Local Agencies that will benefit Massachusetts:

Of the $950 million directed to States, localities, territories, and tribes, Massachusetts will get a minimum of $11.65 million based on a funding formula. 

In addition, $350 million of the $950 million for States, localities, territories, and tribes is undesignated and will be allotted according to the development of the outbreak. Massachusetts is expected to receive a portion of the $350 million in undesignated funds for States, localities, territories, and tribes. 

Other Funds that could assist Massachusetts:

CDC undesignated funds – Approximately $500 million. While significant funding is necessary to support CDC’s intramural preparedness and response activities, a portion of those funds are expected to go to States and cities, including Massachusetts, for activities such as improving surveillance systems to identify coronavirus and conducting public awareness campaigns.

Procurement of pharmaceuticals, masks, PPE, and other medical supplies for the Strategic National Stockpile – approximately $500 million.  Some of those supplies could be deployed to Massachusetts in case of shortages. 

Community Health Centers –  $100 million. A portion will go to health centers in Massachusetts. 

Research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics - $3 billion.  Companies in Massachusetts could receive funding through BARDA and/or research universities in Massachusetts could be funded through NIH.