As COVID-19 Vaccine Nears FDA Approval and Distribution, Shaheen Receives Virtual Briefing on Lonza’s Vaccine Manufacturing Efforts

December 04, 2020

**Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to ensure the United States is prepared to quickly produce and deliver potential COVID-19 vaccines to the American people**

**The CARES Act included a Shaheen-supported provision containing $3.5 billion to support vaccine development, manufacturing & distribution by firms like Lonza**

(Portsmouth, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) participated in a virtual briefing with Lonza, a Portsmouth-based pharmaceutical company, on the firm’s efforts to manufacture Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine is nearing approval from the Food and Drug Administration, following the release of studies highlighting its efficacy in protecting against the COVID-19 virus. During the briefing, Shaheen received an update from Lonza leadership on the status of the vaccine production and discussed the work being done in Portsmouth to ramp up manufacturing capacity in anticipation of the hundreds of millions of doses that will be needed by the American people.  Following the event, Shaheen also received a virtual update from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on the state’s draft vaccine plan.

“The development, approval, manufacturing and distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is critical to putting an end to this pandemic, reopening our economy and restoring normalcy to our society,” said Senator Shaheen. “I applaud Lonza’s tireless and remarkable efforts to help ensure that this vaccine is available and ready for distribution as soon as possible. As it approaches regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration, I’m committed to working with Lonza, Moderna and state officials to ensure they have the resources they need to ramp up vaccine production and create a robust, well-prepared distribution chain that will ensure every Granite Stater can be vaccinated.”

Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to ensure the United States is prepared to quickly produce and deliver potential COVID-19 vaccines to the American people. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a Shaheen-supported provision containing $3.5 billion to support vaccine development and manufacturing by firms like Lonza. Shaheen has also called for robust funding to ensure the swift distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as a part of any upcoming legislation to address the pandemic – following up on her call from earlier this year for Congress to provide at least $5.6 billion in federal funding to develop and support COVID-19 vaccine infrastructure.