The Trump Administration is looking to add production capacity at three separate vaccine factories and that production is expected to be operational by 2020.
The Department of Health and Human Services was briefed last month on the three proposed investments.
The project at the BIO facility in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, would add three weeks of vaccine production capacity. The $70 million investment would focus on expanding capacity for complex vaccines such as flu and pneumococcal.
All of this is part of the six-year, $4.7 billion commitment HHS made last July to help private sector companies quickly produce vaccines.
The increase in capacity was requested by HHS Secretary Alex Azar. During his confirmation hearings, he reiterated his commitment to increase the availability of vaccines by 2020. Last month, Azar added the Shippensburg investment to his listening tour of potential investment opportunities.
This is good news for HHS and for the State Department. America’s partners abroad have expressed concern that a shortage of vaccines will threaten the health of millions of children around the world. Having domestic capacity to fill the gap could be an important part of helping to ensure that the commitment to protect children worldwide is made.