Senator Hassan Meets Virtually with Portsmouth-Based Lonza Leaders to Discuss Vaccine Manufacturing Efforts
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) met virtually with leaders and employees of Portsmouth-based Lonza to discuss their efforts to produce ingredients for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Moderna.
The CARES Act that Senator Hassan voted to pass into law earlier this year included $3.5 billion in federal funding to support vaccine production and distribution, including funding to support Moderna and Lonza’s efforts. Senator Hassan’s office and other U.S. government officials also recently worked with Lonza and the State Department to bring nine Lonza employees from Switzerland to New Hampshire to help expedite Lonza’s efforts.
“We know how important developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is to restoring our health and economy, and I know how extraordinary the effort is that is going on here and around the world to develop multiple options for a safe and effective vaccine,” said Senator Hassan. “I am the granddaughter of a pediatrician who started practicing medicine in 1921. He used to talk about the difference the development of a vaccine made in his practice and in the lives and health of his patients, and would describe in great detail sometimes the sadness and tragedies that happened before vaccines were available. The job you all are engaged in has great humanitarian value and we need to do everything we can to support you, help overcome hurdles you face, and get this vaccine administered as effectively and quickly as possible.”
"Lonza Portsmouth is working tirelessly to ensure we can manufacture the vaccine at scale as soon as we receive regulatory approval," said Pierre Catignol, Site Head. "Our employees enjoyed speaking with Senator Hassan about the important work we are doing with Moderna to ensure that we can scale vaccine production."
Senator Hassan is calling for Congress to provide at least $5.6 billion in federal funding to develop and support COVID-19 vaccine infrastructure in the next COVID-19 relief package. Earlier this month, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation to help ensure the safety and efficacy of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
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