AAI Public Affairs

The AAI public affairs program advocates on behalf of AAI members by identifying critically important issues in immunology and biomedical research, providing recommendations to relevant federal officials [including those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)], and urging Congress and the Administration to increase funding for NIH and other key agencies/programs.

  • Congress Enacts Full Year Funding Bills for FY 2022
    President Joe Biden signed a fiscal year (FY) 2022 omnibus appropriations bill into law in March 2022 that includes full-year funding for all federal departments and agencies. Enactment of the bipartisan funding bill ended a drawn-out process that required four short-term funding bills, known as continuing resolutions (CRs), to keep the federal government open once the new fiscal year began on October 1, 2021. Read more »
  • President Biden Unveils Budget Request for FY 2023
    President Biden released his budget request for FY 2023 in late March. The president’s budget is an important statement of priorities that Congress takes into consideration when developing its own budget and appropriations bills. For FY 2023, the president recommends an extremely modest increase in the regular NIH budget of just $275 million (0.6%), less than the projected rate of biomedical research inflation (2.6%). Read more »
  • AAI Submits Congressional Testimony to Key Congressional Subcommittees
    CPA Chair Peter Jensen, M.D., recently submitted written testimony, on behalf of AAI, to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees, urging them to appropriate at least $49 billion (a $4 billion increase) for the NIH base budget to support its core operations in FY 2023. Read more »
  • AAI Urges Congressional Leaders to Appropriate Additional COVID-19 Relief Funding
    The Biden Administration is reportedly running out of funding for a wide range of activities crucial to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, including diagnostic tests, monoclonal antibodies, antiviral drugs, and funds to continue crucial research. Read more »
  • AAI Public Policy Fellows Advocate for Increased NIH Funding During Virtual Capitol Hill Day
    In mid-March, the 2021-2022 AAI Public Policy Fellows participated in a two-day virtual Capitol Hill Day program. The Fellows, accompanied by CPA Chair Peter Jensen, M.D., AAI Advocacy Programs Subcommittee Chair Gretchen Diehl, Ph.D. (AAI ’14), AAI Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs Lauren Gross, J.D., and AAI Senior Manager of Science Policy and Legislative Affairs, met with a total of 26 congressional offices by video or phone. Read more »
  • CPA Hosts Timely Policy Sessions at IMMUNOLOGY 2022™
    The CPA sponsored two important and timely policy sessions at IMMUNOLOGY2022™, the AAI annual meeting that was held in Portland, Oregon, in early May. Both chaired by CPA Chair Peter Jensen, M.D., the sessions were: “ARPA-H: What You Need to Know and How it May Impact Federal Funding of Biomedical Research,” and “Vaccine Acceptance: Lessons from the Past and Tools for the Future.” Read more »

AAI Public Affairs Activities

AAI Supports National Immunization Awareness Month

In recognition of National Immunization Awareness month, The American Association of Immunologists (AAI), the largest professional association of immunologists in the nation, reiterates its strong support of the use of vaccines to prevent disease.

AAI Announces 2022−2023 Public Policy Fellows

AAI is pleased to announce the newest class of Public Policy Fellows. These early career researchers will spend a year learning how to effectively advocate for funding and policies that impact the biomedical research enterprise. The program culminates in a Capitol Hill Day event next spring.

AAI Sends Letter to Congressional Leaders on Need for Supplemental Funding for COVID-19 Priorities

AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Peter Jensen, M.D., recently wrote to key congressional leaders, urging them “to expeditiously approve legislation that provides at least $15.6 billion in supplemental funding to address some of the most pressing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter, sent on behalf of AAI, was prompted by reports that the Administration will soon run out of funding for key tools to combat COVID-19, including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and antiviral therapies, as well as for critically important research priorities, including studying who may need an additional booster shot and when. This funding would enable continued investment in these crucial areas, and would also allow the Administration to address important global health challenges, such as increasing vaccination rates around the world.

AAI Issues Statement on President Biden’s FY 2023 Budget Request for NIH

AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Peter E. Jensen, M.D., recently issued a statement on President Joe Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request for NIH. The statement expresses appreciation for the president's longtime support for NIH, concern about this year's insufficient funding request, and support for increased NIH and pandemic funding.

The president’s request would increase the regular NIH budget by just $275 million (0.6%) in FY 2023, reducing the agency’s purchasing power after adjusting for inflation. Separately, he requests a $4 billion funding increase for the newly-created Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and proposes a comprehensive pandemic preparedness plan (to be paid for through mandatory funding that is not subject to the annual appropriations process). Dr. Jensen’s statement recommends an increase in the regular NIH budget of $4 billion for FY 2023, a ”substantial” funding increase for ARPA-H, and full funding of the president’s pandemic preparedness plan.

AAI Statement on COVID-19 Vaccines and Booster Shots

AAI President Gary A. Koretzky, M.D., Ph.D., issued the following statement on December 2, 2021.

The American Association of Immunologists (AAI)* urges all Americans to get fully vaccinated,** and once eligible, to receive a booster shot against COVID-19. Vaccination significantly reduces your chance of being hospitalized for, or dying from, COVID-19, and will help protect the lives and health of your family, friends, and community. As immunologists and other scientists work to understand the threat of new variants, including omicron, our existing vaccines remain our best – and an extraordinarily effective – tool against a disease that has already claimed the lives of more than 780,000 Americans and more than 5.2 million people globally.

* AAI (www.aai.org) is the nation’s largest professional association of research scientists and physicians who study the immune system.
** Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers people fully vaccinated “2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.”

Statement by AAI President Gary Koretzky on Dr. Collins’ Decision to Step Down as NIH Director

AAI President Gary Koretzky, M.D., Ph.D., recently issued a statement in response to the news that Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., will step down as NIH Director at the end of the year. In the statement, Dr. Koretzky thanks Dr. Collins, on behalf of AAI, for his “12 years of exemplary leadership as NIH Director” and “wish[es] him the very best as he begins the next chapter of his career.”

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