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State of Vermont

Senate Chamber

Montpelier, Vermont

Senate Resolution

By Senator Shumlin,

S.R. 35. Senate resolution urging the United States Congress to investigate the shortage of immunization vaccines.

Whereas, in Vermont, and nationwide, the supply of immunization vaccines for many diseases is extremely inadequate, resulting in potentially devastating consequences, especially for young children, and

Whereas, in some instances, such as the 2001 flu vaccine, a nationwide inadequacy was replaced by a general availability but at an increased price, and

Whereas, according to the Vermont department of health, a similar pattern which equates higher prices with greater availability has emerged with the Pneumococcal Vaccine, Prevnar, and

Whereas, the 48 percent of the Prevnar supply intended for sale to private medical offices and priced at $58.00 a dose remains readily available, but the 52 percent of the supply reserved for state health departments, and sold through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the reduced price of $46.00, has become increasingly difficult to obtain, and

Whereas, the devastating implications of this profit-motivated equation are demonstrated by the fact the highest rates of invasive pneumococcal disease (which includes various types of serious infections) occur among children, especially those under age two, and

Whereas, tetanus vaccine production has been so drastically reduced that booster doses are often only available at emergency rooms, and

Whereas, the dwindling supply of chicken pox vaccine has compelled physicians to defer administrations for six to 12 months, and

Whereas, vaccine shortages can be cited in many other instances, and

Whereas, a pattern is emerging wherein the pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Wyeth, Aventis, and GlaxoSmithKline, among others, are seeking to inflate the cost of these vital vaccines, resulting in a potentially great health risk to many Americans, especially children, and

Whereas, the American Academy of Pediatrics has expressed concern over the vaccine shortage problem, and

Whereas, the vaccine supply pattern is evolving into a national crisis which requires Congressional attention, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate strongly urges U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Federal Trade Commission and the appropriate jurisdictional committees of the United States Congress to investigate the causes, particularly the profit-motivated aspects, of the growing shortages of immunization vaccines, and be it further

Resolved: That upon completion of its investigation, Congress enact legislation creating a national vaccine authority to assure adequate, just and equitable research and development, production and affordable distribution of vaccines, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

____________________________ Attested to:

President of the Senate


David A. Gibson

Secretary of the Senate