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Joyce promotes vaccines for children during subcommittee markup

U.S. Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) last week offered an amendment to a bipartisan bill he cosponsored that would bolster the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

“The bipartisan bill before us today will take important steps towards supporting families and ensuring that children have access to lifesaving vaccines they so desperately need in their early development,” said Rep. Joyce last week in support of his amendment, which would expand access for the VFC program to children from low-income families and ensure coverage for vaccine counseling.

The congressman proposed the amendment during a July 15 U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee markup of the Strengthening the Vaccines for Children Program Act of 2021, H.R. 2347, which Rep. Joyce cosponsored in April with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA). 

H.R. 2347 would amend the Social Security Act to ensure adequate access to vaccines under the Medicaid program and the VFC program, according to the text of the bill. 

“Studies show that childhood vaccinations can prevent as many as 10.5 million cases of preventable diseases in the U.S. each year,” Rep. Joyce said. 

During the subcommittee markup, Rep. Joyce said that H.R. 2347 would expand access to the VFC program to children on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and children without insurance coverage for a vaccine; ensure coverage for vaccine counseling, and in particular, vaccine counseling for multiple component vaccines; and would support access to outreach by states to further encourage vaccination distribution for children in need.

“This is a commonsense bill that would make a positive impact on the health of our nations’ children,” the lawmaker said. “While the process is still not fully complete on this bill and we must continue to work on offsetting the costs of this bill, I am very encouraged by the bipartisan process we have made today.”  

The subcommittee marked up the bill and forwarded it to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday.

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