AVAC Letter of Support for Appropriations Funding for FY2023

 September 20, 2022

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Patty Murray
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
on Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Tom Cole
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Roy Blunt
Ranking Member
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
on Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20510


Dear Chairwomen DeLauro and Murray and Ranking Members Cole and Blunt: 

As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we write to ask for full funding of immunization-related activities at the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), and Education Appropriations bill. 

The COVID-19 pandemic put a tremendous strain on our chronically underfunded public health infrastructure and exposed important weaknesses that simply must be addressed. It has also reminded us of the importance of health promotion and disease prevention efforts. Vaccines help mitigate disease, prevent severe illness, and reduce hospitalizations, morbidity, and mortality.  

Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen a precipitous drop in immunization rates across all ages, young and old. Before the pandemic, adult immunization rates were already below national targets, especially in underserved communities, where the risk of poor outcomes was highest. The pandemic only exacerbated these alarming trends. A recent analysis conducted by Avalere Health revealed that adolescents and adults may have missed an estimated 37.1 million doses of recommended vaccines between December 2020 and July 2021 compared to the same time in 2019.1    

We appreciate that both the House and Senate LHHS bills included generous plus ups to support ongoing COVID-19 vaccination activities, as well as continue research related to long COVID-19 conditions and, support influenza programming, and enhance support in human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination efforts. It is critical that the final FY23 Appropriations bill includes sustainable funding for immunization efforts, including long-term investments in immunization infrastructure, including immunization information systems, vaccine confidence campaigns, and support for health care providers.  

As Congress looks to finalize the FY23 process, we ask for you to support the higher Senate support for the immunization program of $ $860,772,000 to fully fund the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)(+$225m). The immunization program at CDC provides funding to state and local health departments to carry out a variety of activities vital to the prevention, detection, and mitigation of vaccine-preventable conditions. These essential grants are utilized not only for the purchase of vaccines, but also support a number of other important activities, including: surveillance, safety and effectiveness studies, education and outreach, implementation of evidence-based community interventions to increase immunization coverage among underserved and high-risk populations, and vaccine-preventable disease outbreak response. In FY23, these funds will also include much needed focus on the long-neglected needs of the adult population, addressing access, education and outreach and continuing to encourage more providers across the health care continuum to make immunization a routine part of their clinical workflow for all adult patients.  

Thank you for your consideration.  The opportunity we have before us today, is not just to return life course immunizations to pre-pandemic levels, but to build upon and exceed them. For additional background, please see our full appropriations request for 2023, or contact the AVAC managers at info@adultvaccinesnow.org. 


Alliance for Aging Research
American Academy of Family Physicians 
American College of Preventive Medicine 
American Heart Association
American Immunization Registry Association
American Pharmacists Association 
American Public Health Association
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of Immunization Managers
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Occupational Health Nurses  Association of State and Territorial Health Officials 
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
CSL Seqirus
Families Fighting Flu
Hep B United
Hepatitis B Foundation 
Hepatitis Education Project 
Immunization Coalition of Washington, DC 
Infectious Diseases Society of America 
Johnson & Johnson
Kimberly Coffey Foundation
March of Dimes
Merck & Co Inc.
National Association of City and County Health Officials
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) 
National Black Nurses Association
National Consumers League
National Council of Urban Indian Health
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
National Hispanic Medical Association 
National Minority Quality Forum
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable 
STC Health
The AIDS Institute
The Gerontological Society of America
Trust for America’s Health
Vaccinate Your Family
Valneva USA
VBI Vaccines Inc.
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease  


View PDF of full letter here.