A group of senators has proposed a bill a plan to invest $1 billion in research over 5 years to develop a universal flu vaccine.

The Flu Vaccine Act was introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The proposed law would direct $200 million annually over fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to universal influenza vaccine research at NIH.

A press release from Markey’s office noted the growing number of deaths and hospitalizations related to influenza this season as well as the toll influenza takes on the economy and workforce.