Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2019
Statement from the Press Secretary on the Executive Order Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the U.S. to Promote National Security and Public Health
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order, “Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health.” This action further strengthens our Nation’s public health and security by prioritizing United States Government efforts to modernize and improve the production and effectiveness of influenza vaccines to combat the seasonal flu we see every year and to combat potential influenza pandemics. This Executive Order will also promote increased influenza vaccine immunization across our entire population.
Each year, seasonal influenza vaccines prevent millions of cases of disease and thousands of deaths in the United States. Additionally, in the event of an influenza pandemic, the virus could kill more than half a million Americans and inflict trillions of dollars of damage on our economy. Unfortunately, many of the vaccineswe use today are produced overseas, using time-consuming, egg-based technology, which limits their effectiveness and makes production too slow to effectively combat a potential deadly influenza pandemic.
With today’s action, the Trump Administration will promote new vaccine manufacturing technologies to enable the production of vaccine doses faster and in greater quantities than is currently possible. Reduced production times will allow experts to better match vaccines to actively circulating influenza viruses, making them more effective in treating seasonal influenza. Additionally, more robust, secure, and responsive vaccines will aid the response in the event of a pandemic influenza. Finally, this Executive Order will advance the development of vaccines that last longer and protect against a broader array of influenza viruses.
Through this action, President Trump has reaffirmed his Administration’s commitment to supporting American innovation and American production and to protecting the American people.