Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Upon Signing the National Swine Flu Immunization Program of 1976

August 12, 1976

Secretary Mathews, Congressman Carter, Dr. Cooper, distinguished members of the medical profession, ladies and gentlemen:

I am deeply appreciative that the Congress, as one of their final actions before the scheduled recess, sent to me for signature the National Swine Flu Immunization Program of 1976. And I would like to express my deep appreciation to the bipartisan leadership of both the House and the Senate and responsible leaders in the committees that had jurisdiction for their cooperation in making certain that this legislation got to the White House on time for us to carry forth this program.

This program will permit the Federal Government to assure appropriate liability protection for those who manufacture, distribute, and administer this lifesaving vaccine. The program also provides a claims procedure for those who might be injured. Scientific and medical evidence continues to support the need for a swine flu inoculation program. A vaccine has been developed that is both safe and effective, with a very low risk of adverse reactions.

I have directed the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to move as quickly as possible to make this vaccine available to all Americans. I strongly reaffirm my commitment to this program, which will afford millions of Americans protection against an outbreak of swine flu this winter.

I say again, I am grateful that the Congress did take this action so this program could continue.

Note: The President spoke at 12:12 p.m. at a ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his opening remarks, he referred to David Mathews, Secretary, Dr. Theodore Cooper, Assistant Secretary for Health, Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and Representative Tim Lee Carter of Kentucky.

As enacted, the bill (S. 3735) is Public Law 94380 (90 Stat. 1113).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Upon Signing the National Swine Flu Immunization Program of 1976 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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