Governor Greg Abbott today celebrated the tremendous achievement of researchers at the University of Houston (UH) who have developed a groundbreaking fentanyl vaccine with the potential to save millions of innocent lives from fentanyl poisonings and addiction. Following a tour of the UH fentanyl vaccine lab and a briefing from lab technicians, Governor Abbott touted this milestone at a press conference with UH President Renu Khator, UH System Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta, and UH Associate Professor Dr. Colin Haile.
“Fentanyl remains the single deadliest drug threat our state and nation has ever encountered, and Texas continues leading the fight against this clandestine killer,” said Governor Abbott. “I am proud to be at the University of Houston today to celebrate the brilliant achievement of Dr. Colin Haile and his research team on creating a fentanyl vaccine. This incredible, groundbreaking new therapy has the potential to revolutionize how we combat fentanyl deaths in our communities and end the afflictions of addiction that burden so many innocent Texans and Americans across the country. I look forward to working alongside the University of Houston and Dr. Haile in Texas’ continued efforts to save innocent lives from being lost to this deadly drug.”
During the press conference, Governor Abbott highlighted a variety of actions taken by the State of Texas to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis, including designating Mexican drug cartels as a terrorist organizations, signing legislation into law that makes it a felony to make or distribute fentanyl, and launching the “One Pill Kills” campaign to raise awareness of this deadly drug across the state.
The Governor also discussed plans to consider new laws this upcoming legislative session that would classify fentanyl deaths as a poisoning, allow charging an individual for murder if they distribute fentanyl or drugs laced with fentanyl that kill someone, and make NARCAN more readily available across the state for Texans exposed to fentanyl.