ISSA Advocacy Recap—FDA Panel Green Lights COVID-19 Vaccine

December 11, 2020 ISSA Advocacy Recap—FDA Panel Green Lights COVID-19 Vaccine

Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Recap, our regular roundup of the latest public policy issues impacting the cleaning industry. This week’s recap touches on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proceeding toward an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, ISSA calling for prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccines for the cleaning industry, the U.S. House of Representatives voting to fund the federal government for one week, and more.

FDA to ‘Proceed Towards an Authorization’ of COVID-19 Vaccine
The FDA informed Pfizer the agency intends to “proceed towards an authorization” of the manufacturer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and reported by CNN. The statement comes a day after an FDA panel recommended the agency grant an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Other key steps remain, but if those hurdles are cleared, the first vaccinations in the U.S. could occur as early as Monday or Tuesday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated.

ISSA Calls for Prioritized Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for the Cleaning Industry
ISSA submitted comments to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to ensure the entire cleaning supply chain is able to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic without interruption. In a December 3, letter to the committee, ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft stated, “It is imperative these essential workers in the cleaning industry have prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccines to help minimize disruptions in the supply chain of manufacturing and distributing cleaning and hygiene-related products that are critical to public health. It is equally as imperative frontline workers tasked with sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting are also protected. Our members are working daily to help prevent the further spread of this awful virus.” Take action now: Using ISSA’s Action Center, please take a moment to urge your elected officials to prioritize cleaning industry access to COVID-19 vaccines.

House Votes to Fund Government for One Week; Push to Strike Spending, COVID Relief Deals
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a one-week government funding extension as Congress tries to buy time to strike broad spending and coronavirus relief deals, CNBC reported. The measure would keep the federal government running through December 18. Many operations will shut down amid the surging pandemic and rising unemployment claims if lawmakers fail to approve a funding bill before Saturday. The legislation heads to the U.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R) indicated he aims to pass it before the deadline. McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) have said they want to attach pandemic aid measures to the full-year spending bill. Take action now: Using ISSA’s Action Center, please take a moment to tell your federal elected officials to include a cleaning tax credit as part of any stimulus package.

ISSA Expresses Strong Support for Legislation to Reduce COVID-19-Related Tariffs
Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of which ISSA is an active member, sent two letters to congressional leaders supporting legislation that would help American businesses recover from the impact tariffs are having in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first letter was sent to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-R), expressing both strong support for and quick passage of H.R. 7665, a bill that would extend product exclusions in effect as of July 16, 2020. The second letter was sent to U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (PA-R) and Maggie Hassan (NH-R) expressing strong support for S. 4497, a bill that would temporarily suspend all duties on personal protective equipment and other products identified by the U.S. International Trade Commission as needed for the COVID-19 response.

EPA Increases Transparency for Inert Ingredients in Antimicrobial Products
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is allowing registrants of antimicrobial pesticide products to “more efficiently disclose inert ingredients.” According to the EPA, through this action, “consumers will be able to view inert ingredients for certain products by following a QR code or website link included on a product’s label.” An inert ingredient is any substance other than an active ingredient that is intentionally included in a pesticide product. Inert ingredients play a key role in the effectiveness of a pesticidal product. For example, in some instances, inert ingredients are added to extend the product’s shelf life. The term “inert” does not imply that the chemical is nontoxic.

Other links of interest