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Shaheen Encouraged by Federal Agreement to Boost Domestic Vaccine Delivery With NH Contribution

**Shaheen Has Called for Greater Federal Cooperation With Domestic Manufacturers to Ramp-up Needle and Syringe Production**

**It is estimated that the United States will need 600 million needles and syringes for COVID-19 vaccine delivery**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after federal agencies reached an agreement with domestic manufacturers, including Smiths Medical which has a manufacturing center in Keene, to ramp up production of needles and syringes for the delivery of an eventual vaccine. Senator Shaheen has called on the Trump administration to significantly increase its cooperation with domestic manufacturers as it is estimated that the United States will need 600 million syringes for delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“There is no more important task than the development and delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Shaheen. “The United States must be prepared to quickly deliver a vaccine when one is ready – we must not be caught flat-footed. The administration’s errors and delays in delivering PPE, testing and contact tracing must be avoided at all costs when it comes to delivery of an eventual vaccine. The broad availability of a vaccine is absolutely critical to saving lives and reviving the economy. I’m glad that New Hampshire will play a large role in this manufacturing effort. I know employees at Smiths Medical stand ready to increase production of these vital needles and syringes and I thank them for their efforts.”

In their April letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Senators Shaheen and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) were adamant about increasing the domestic supply chain and warned that the United States was falling behind: “The administration’s current procurement strategy for COVID-19 vaccine delivery systems is likely to leave the country at risk of being unable to administer a vaccine when it becomes available … Administering this vaccine will be essential in guaranteeing a return to normalcy for the American people and preventing the tragic loss of life we have witnessed across the country.”

Senator Shaheen questioned top Trump administration health officials on plans to develop and distribute a vaccine in a recent hearing. Senators Shaheen and Hassan have also called on Senate leaders to include an additional $5.6 billion for distribution, provider training, public education, and to broaden vaccine access in upcoming COVID-19 response legislation.