BIO supports federal budget requests for vaccination and biodefense programs

The Biotechnology Industry Organization called on Monday for increased funding from Congress for vaccination initiatives and biodefense programs.

BIO Event and Health Communications Manager Daniel Seaton said the organization made recommendations for specific public health programs and vaccine initiatives it will support during fiscal year 2015.

Seaton said the company supports $2.8 billion over five years for the Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund, and requested $636 million for FY 2015.

BIO expressed support of $300 million for preparation and response to pandemic influenza, including vaccine development, antiviral medication and diagnostic systems.

Seaton said BIO requested $650 million for the CDC for Section 317 Immunization Program, which would reduce the cost of vaccinations and prevent disease before it has a chance to spread through communities.

BIO supported the request of $187.5 million to develop and support CDC planning and response programs for influenza.

The budget request of $415 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority also received support from BIO. Seaton said BARDA's pipeline of medical countermeasures are essential to the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies.

Seaton said BIO supports the $543 million budget request for Strategic National Stockpile, which would enable the SNS to acquire and replenish vaccines, diagnostics, devices and medications before a public emergency event.

BIO also supported a $670 million request for the CDC for the State and Local Preparedness and Response Capability program.