WASHINGTON, DC – The House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment with unanimous support introduced by U.S. Representative Dan Maffei calling on the Department of Defense to continue work on a vaccine for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and outline how to make the vaccine available to the public.
Rep. Maffei’s amendment, which passed as part of the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, highlights the need for a vaccine to treat the potentially fatal EEE Virus that has claimed lives in Central New York.
A young girl in Oswego County died in 2011 after being infected by a mosquito carrying the EEE virus.
“The Department of Defense has a vaccine for EEE, but it is deeply troubling to me that this vaccine is not available to the public even in the event of an emergency,” said Rep. Maffei, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “EEE has had a devastating effect on our communities in Central New York, and we must do everything we can to prevent this deadly disease from taking more lives.”
Specifically, Rep. Maffei’s provision would require the Department of Defense to determine what constitutes an EEE public health emergency and create a plan to release its vaccine in the event a public health emergency does occur.
Rep. Maffei’s amendment would also require the Department of Defense to report to Congress on the current status of the vaccine and efforts to make it available to the public.