All five COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to testify before key Congressional panel
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations panel, announced today that all five manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines will be appearing to testify before her committee next week.
The hearing comes as federal officials look for ways to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. According to DeGette, officials from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer have all agreed to testify before the panel on Tuesday, February 23 at 10:30 a.m. ET to explain the steps they are taking to ramp up production.
“It’s important that these companies are doing everything they can to produce these vaccines as quickly as possible so we can get them into the arms of more Americans,” DeGette said. “ We want to know what these companies are doing to ramp up production, and what else can be done to get these vaccines distributed sooner to those who need them.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Congress has provided more than $60 billion to help fund the development, production and distribution of various COVID-19 countermeasures, including vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has, so far, granted two Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines, one developed by Pfizer and the other by Moderna – both of which require two doses for a patient to become fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, as of Feb. 14, the federal government has distributed more than 70 million doses of the vaccine to states, territories, and tribes across the country. Of those 70 million doses, 55.2 million doses have been administered to patients, including 15 million second-dose shots.
The Oversight and Investigations panel, led by DeGette, held a hearing last month to investigate what was causing a reported delay in the distribution of vaccines to millions of Americans across the country.
State leaders who testified before the panel at that hearing pointed to a limited supply of vaccine available, and the limited notice they were being given by federal government before doses arrived, as two reasons to explain the slow pace of vaccinations.
Lawmakers on the panel now want to know from the companies that make these vaccines what they are doing to ramp up production; and whether they believe they will be able to meet the commitments they’ve made to the U.S. government?
The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET and can be viewed LIVE online at the following link: https://degette.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/hearing-pathway-to-protection-expanding-availability-of-covid-19-vaccines
Following is the list of witnesses that will be testifying at Tuesday’s hearing:
Group President, Chief Business Officer
Dr. Stephen Hoge
Dr. Richard Nettles
Johnson & Johnson
Vice President of Medical Affairs, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
Dr. Ruud Dobber
Executive Vice President and President, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit
Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and Chief Business Office