Crenshaw Pushes Bill for Vaccine Allocation Transparency
I stressed the importance of my legislation (H.R. 1452) to bring greater transparency to the formula used to allocate COVID-19 vaccines to states like Texas during an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing.
I know many of my colleagues expressed their concern on the same topic of vaccine allocation transparency during the markup of the American Rescue Plan. Frankly, I’m disappointed that none of my colleagues voted for this bill when it was offered as an amendment to the American Rescue Plan. Maybe if we implemented this transparency piece in February, we wouldn’t have to ask these same questions today.
Luckily, today, every Texan who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine, and we’re fortunate to have an excess supply to share with the world. But I want to remind us of where we were in February – where the Houston Chronicle ran a story with the headline 'Nobody is Getting Enough': Why Texas ranks near the bottom for COVID-19 vaccines per capita'. This wasn’t an aberration – captured in a moment in time, on January 14, CDC was reporting that total allocations to Texas were 7,602 doses per 100,000 individuals. On that day, the national average of allocation to the states was 9,339 per 100,000 individuals.
My legislation would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish the formula for allocating COVID-19 to states and localities.
This legislation is important to prepare for future pandemics. I am sure that this Committee will continue a robust debate on how to prepare for pandemics, and this bill is to ensure that allocation transparency is standard practice in the future.
CLICK HERE for full text of my legislation.
As the Houston Chronicle reported in March, I have "repeatedly pushed for more transparency on how vaccine allocations are decided."
I have taken numerous actions following reports that outdated population data was being used to allocate COVID-19 vaccines to state's like Texas, which improperly received less doses of the vaccine.
I introduced H.R. 1452 as an amendment during an Energy and Commerce markup on the COVID spending package in February. Every Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee rejected my transparency amendment during the markup, which took place just as reports were surfacing that Texas wasn't being allocated proper amounts of the vaccine.
In March, I pressed the Biden Administration for a full audit of how COVID-19 vaccines are allocated to states and territories.
"Texas is getting shortchanged when it comes to vaccine allocation and it's unacceptable. We need answers and transparency, which is why I introduced legislation to obtain the formula being used to determine the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines," I said in March.