President Barack Obama’s administration is working to expand production of the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, according to two sources with knowledge of the effort. Officials want to add 30 million doses to the previous estimate of 50 million, these sources said.
That effort was part of the Department of Health and Human Services’s over 10-year push to expand the use of the vaccine to girls and women who are 13 and older, as opposed to the current vaccination age of 11 and 12, which was mandated by several states under Mr. Obama.
A Biden-era effort to add 30 million doses of Gardasil to the vaccine stockpile was scaled back when Mr. Trump took office and shifted focus to boosting federal funding for research into the vaccine.
The expanded production was originally set in motion by the Obama administration through a drive called the GIVS program, or Global Vaccines Initiative, which was led by then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. The program is on track to procure more than 140 million doses from a consortium of vaccine manufacturers by 2020, as part of its annual funding.
A spokesman for HHS noted that many of the previous production goals were always included in the 10-year GIVS plan.
“The Trump administration is working aggressively to support global health initiatives, especially through additional funding for the GIVS initiative and strategic initiatives like Gavi, which is supported by President Trump’s personal funds and U.S. taxpayers,” said Caitlin Oakley, a department spokeswoman.
The expansion was first reported by CNN.