WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization for a Coronavirus vaccine:
“Hard working scientists, both in government and the private sector, deserve our deepest appreciation for this momentous and unprecedented achievement, as do the thousands of vaccine trial participants. I am especially proud that Michiganders are working to manufacture and distribute the newly authorized Coronavirus vaccine. This milestone also could not have happened without our public health agencies, who have led a rigorous process to ensure these vaccines are safe and effective.
“I will continue pressing the current Administration to ensure our government is prepared for the enormous task of distributing the vaccines to Michiganders and communities across the country. I also look forward to working with the incoming Administration, who I am confident will be effective in ensuring the equitable distribution of vaccines.
“While today’s development is a bright light after a difficult year, we are still months away from vaccines being widely available to all Americans, and this is only one component of getting the pandemic under control. Even as our friends and families begin to be vaccinated, we must continue to use masks, social distancing, contact tracing, and other measures for the foreseeable future in order to stop the spread and save lives.”
As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has called on the Administration to ensure the Coronavirus vaccine process is rooted in science and transparency and that its distribution is efficient, swift and equitable. In October, he released a report highlighting shortcomings in the Trump Administration’s vaccine distribution plans and providing recommendations to ensure that vaccines will be safe, effective, trusted by the public, free, and widely available to every community. He pressed the Trump Administration to take swift action to ensure the U.S. has enough syringes and needles needed to immunize millions of Americans once Coronavirus vaccines are authorized for distribution. He also introduced legislation to address shortages of medical supplies and personal protective equipment by encouraging domestic production.