Right now, researchers and drug makers are working tirelessly to develop a safe and effective vaccine to combat COVID-19. Since this pandemic began, I have worked on a bipartisan basis to protect the health and safety of North Carolinians, including supporting billions of dollars to produce a safe and effective vaccine as quickly as possible.
Once that vaccine is developed, Americans should get the vaccine first before it goes to other countries. That is why I introduced legislation this week that will ensure that Americans will be the first to receive any COVID-19 vaccine that was developed by an American company with the support of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Specifically, the legislation will prevent a manufacturer of a vaccine that was developed with the support of federal funding from distributing a vaccine outside of the United States until the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the FDA Commissioner, certifies that domestic need for the vaccine has already been met or is in the best interest of American public health. Any company that violates this requirement will be required to pay back the federal government for all federal funds they received from American taxpayers, plus interest.
This legislation is about protecting the health of North Carolinians and ensuring that you receive a return on investment when a safe vaccine is developed.
Thank you for reading, and as always please reach out to my office if you have any questions or need help with a federal agency and please stay safe.