Washington – U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, released a letter Monday that urges the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider a local company when the agency awards contracts for next year’s flu shots.

Meriden-based Protein Sciences has developed a vaccine called Flublok that the lawmakers say “contains 3x more antigen trivalent flu vaccines and induces a stronger antibody response against the influenza A viruses.”

“In light of the CDC’s recent warning that flu vaccines might be ineffective this season given that the newest strain, H3N2, was not included, we are asking the CDC to consider purchasing the 250,000 doses offered by Protein Sciences…” the lawmakers wrote CDC head Thomas Frieden.

In October, the CDC put out a solicitation for bids for a vaccine for adults 19 and older for the 2015-2016 flu season. But the CDC is looking for much more than 250,000 doses. It is seeking a maximum of six million doses.

DeLauro, who sits on a House Appropriations panel responsible for funding the CDC, and Esty, who represents Meriden in Congress, issued a press release about their efforts a day before Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., hold a press conference at Protein Science headquarters on Tuesday to urge the CDC to purchase the Connecticut company’s vaccine.

In a joint release, the Connecticut senators said that, “According to Protein Sciences, there are approximately 250,000 doses of Flublok available now for individuals most at risk from flu, and much more could be developed should a larger production facility be approved in the coming months.”

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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