The flu hospitalizes hundreds of thousands of Americans and causes tens of thousands of deaths each year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced legislation to better protect Americans from getting sick and to end deaths from the flu by supporting our nation’s preparedness and response. The Protecting America from Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Act of 2023, or Influenza Act, will invest in vaccine development, promote new technology to detect and prevent illness, and increase access to influenza vaccines, treatment, and testing for all Americans.
“Millions of Americans get sick from the flu every year, stopping people from working, kids from going to school, and too often, leading to hospitalizations and deaths, devastating families in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Senator Baldwin. “Investing in proven methods to prevent, detect, and respond to the flu will keep Americans healthy and save lives.”
The flu occurs seasonally each year, and throughout history has caused devastating pandemics. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates as many as 640,000 flu hospitalizations and 57,000 flu deaths occurred between October 1, 2022 and April 29, 2023 – more than the number of Americans who died in motor vehicle accidents.
To stop deaths and illness from the seasonal flu, the U.S. can and should do more to invest in pandemic response. The Influenza Act builds on the National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy, taking steps to:
The Influenza Act is co-sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Representatives Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) introduced this legislation in the House earlier this year.