U.S. SENATE – Today, a second COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine, made by Moderna, will be distributed immediately. The accelerated development and delivery of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was made possible as a result of Daines securing an initial $10 billion in the CARES Act in March to enable vaccine manufacturing and clinical trials to proceed simultaneously.
“When the pandemic hit, I used my background as a chemical engineer as well as my experience in the private sector working with FDA regulated products to work with our top researchers, top scientists and our top innovators on what we needed to do to get a COVID-19 vaccine into the hands of the American people as quickly and safely as possible. That turned into securing $10 billion to accelerate the development and the manufacturing as well as distribution of a vaccine,” Daines said. “Now, we have a second vaccine approved, and there’s more to come. A vaccine is what will save lives, get our economy going again, get our lives back to normal and stop the pandemic. I’m very glad to have led the work in the U.S. Senate to help get us where we are today.”
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna gave credit to Daines for their vaccine being developed, manufactured and approved.
“I want to personally thank Senator Steve Daines for his early leadership and support for the CARES Act which enabled BARDA and Operation Warp Speed to accelerate our progress to this point. I am grateful for his full commitment in this fight against covid-19 through scientific innovation.”
Senator Roy Blunt, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, today also gave credit Daines for his work to help accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Senator Daines took his background in manufacturing and business and was instrumental in advocating for a more aggressive way to use our investment toward vaccine development and production. This includes his support for the simultaneous research and development of a vaccine, which was a significant step toward vaccines being available for the American public in under one year. Senator Daines was a key factor in that discussion.”
In March, Daines secured $10 billion to accelerate the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, which helped jumpstart Operation Warp Speed. Top researchers, scientists and administration officials have touted the Senator’s work.
Montana is expected to receive a second round shipment of vaccines this month that will contain both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The second round allocation will focus on rural hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
In November, Daines called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure Montanans across the state, including those in rural communities, get access to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible.
Daines does not believe in mandating the vaccine, however, he encourages individuals to take it once available in consultation with their doctor.
In early December, Daines was asked to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Summit at the White House because of his work on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic drugs under OWS.
Daines and his wife are participating in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial, where they’re leading by example for Montanans and the American people wondering if they should get the vaccine.