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 Home > News & Policies > October 2004

Department of Health and Human Services
October 18, 2004

Fact Sheet: The Flu Vaccine

Flu Vaccine Progress

Unprecedented Commitment
Fact: Under President Bush, HHS increased funding for flu preparation activities by 720 percent.

Funding Levels

  • Overall, HHS has increased funding for flu-related activities - including surveillance, research, education and vaccine purchase - from $39.3 million in fiscal year 2001 (President Clinton's last budget) to $215.6 million in 2004.
  • The President has requested $283.1 million from Congress for flu programs in 2005.
  • HHS Flu-related funding 2001 to 2005:
    • 2001: $39.3 million.
    • 2002: $47 million.
    • 2003: $101.7 million
    • 2004: $215.6 million
    • 2005: $283.1 million (a 720 percent increase over 2001).
  • These increases include:
    • CDC Flu Funding: $17.2 million to $41.6 million (242 percent increase).
    • NIH Research and Development Funding: $20.6 million to $65.9 million (320 percent increase).
    • FDA Research and Licensing Funding: $1.5 million to $2.6 million (173 percent increase).
    • First ever purchases of vaccines for a strategic reserve: $0 to $80 million.

Stabilizing Demand

  • HHS is spending $40 million in both 2004 and 2005 to purchase more children's influenza vaccine for the first time under the Vaccines for Children Program.
  • This helps protect the nation's children against shortages of the flu vaccine.
  • Secretary Thompson has proposed expanding this program to further stabilize demand.

Modern Vaccines

  • In each of the last two budgets, President Bush has asked for $100 million to shift vaccine development to new cell-culture technologies, as well as to provide for year-round availability of eggs for egg-based vaccine.
  • HHS received $50 million in the fiscal year 2004 budget.
  • Secretary Thompson urges Congress to fully fund the $100 million request for 2005.

Pandemic Preparation

  • In August, Secretary Thompson unveiled the department's draft Pandemic Influenza Response and Preparedness Plan.
  • This plan outlines a coordinated national strategy to prepare for and respond to a flu pandemic.
  • Though public health professionals for years talked about the need for such a plan, it took the leadership of President Bush and Secretary Thompson to get it done.