Taking the lead in Vaccinations

With many Americans concerned about a potential Swine Flu pandemic, I am pleased to announce that MedImmune, the company responsible for filling the vaccines for the entire state of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a $90 million contract to develop a vaccine that targets the H1N1 virus.  This innovative vaccine differs from traditional vaccines; it comes in the form of a nasal spray as rather than an injection.   This is similar to MedImunne's FluMist product which is a nasal flu vaccine for children younger than five years old, which has proven to be extremely effective.
 
This is good news for Pennsylvania and the United States.  Although the Swine Flu epidemic does not appear to be as serious as was originally feared, there is still risk associated with this virus.  The relationship that MedImmune has with the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the state of Pennsylvania, is an important step in ensuring that we are prepared to deal with future flu-related concerns.  As a member of the Labor, Health, Education, and Pensions committee, I recently participated in a hearing on H1N1 and will continue to monitor the pandemic carefully.

Tags:
Appropriations
Vaccinations

Remembering President John F. Kennedy

President  John F. Kennedy, 11 July 1963

Today would be President John F. Kennedy's 92nd birthday. At the start of the new Congress this year I had the opportunity to move into the office President Kennedy used when he was a Senator from Massachusetts. This is a great honor, and as I think of President Kennedy today I think of his great ability to look towards the future always searching for new ideas and challenges.

President Kennedy once said, "Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future." This is as true today as it was in John F. Kennedy's time. Today we are presented with many opportunities and confront many challenges as we look

to reform our health care system to ensure everyone has access to high quality affordable health care; to develop clean energy initiatives and help enact meaningful climate change policy; to harness all the resources of our Nation to develop new jobs and opportunities to help our Nation grow and prosper; and to invest in our children so the bright light inside of every one can shine in to adulthood. We must embrace change and the idea of the possible so we do not "miss the future."

As we remember and honor President Kennedy today, let us also remember one of the greatest lessons he taught us: to look to the future and imagine what could be if we try.

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Kennedy
Legacy

Pamela’s at the White House

Over the holiday weekend, Pittsburgh natives and co-owners of Pamela's P&G Diners Gail Klingensmith and Pamela Cohen were summoned to the White House to make their famous crepe-thin pancakes for the First Family and eighty  veterans at the White House's Memorial Day Breakfast.  I would like to congratulate Ms. Cohen and Ms. Klingensmith on this honor -- I am sure this is an experience they will not forget.

As we work through these tough economic times, Ms. Cohen and Mrs. Klingensmith are fitting ambassadors to represent Pennsylvania at this breakfast.  Like many Pennsylvanians, they have made many sacrifices for their small business. Pamela's pancakes are a staple of the Pittsburgh region and the business has successfully continued to grow and feed many happy customers.  I join President Obama in recognizing this excellent business.

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Pittsburgh

From Israel

As a Senator who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, it is my responsibility to occasionally travel overseas to conduct oversight and ensure we have the right approach to relations with both our allies and adversaries. This week, I have been honored to spend a few days in one of our closest partners, the state of Israel. Traveling with three other Members of Congress, our schedule has been packed with meetings with Israeli leaders -- including Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak today.

Two key issues dominated our conversations -- the common challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program and the need to revitalize progress toward a two state solution. The Prime Minister recounted to us his meeting with President Obama in Washington last week and his approach as we move forward.

I spent most of yesterday in the West Bank, getting a first hand look at the Palestinian security forces that can form the building block of a future Palestinian state. We also shared lunch with a group of impressive Palestinian business leaders.

The trip is not yet over -- we are flying onward to Turkey. Stay tuned for more posts.

From Israel

Tags:
Foreign Policy
Israel

Philadelphia - A Leader in Life Sciences Research

I want to congratulate Greater Philadelphia for being listed among the ten most successful regions at sustaining and building value in the life sciences in a recent Milken Institute study.  The scientific and medical research industry is expected to remain strong in the recession and the work being done in  Philadelphia is helping to create jobs and improve lives.  Scientific and medical research are essential to developing preventive measures, treatments and cures for common and rare diseases and Philadelphia is helping to lead the way in this endeavor. 

Maintaining and increasing funding levels are critical if we are going to continue to lead the world in bio-medical research and to advance vital and cutting-edge research into prevention and treatment for chronic conditions and diseases.  Since beginning my term in the Senate, I have strongly supported increased federal funding for medical research in such areas as autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and cancer.  Improving and ensuring health care for all Americans is one of my top priorities in the Senate, and I will continue to fight for federal funding for medical research as part of that goal.

Tags:
Philadelphia
Research
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