Lawmaker set to vote in support of legislation directing National Guard to handle vaccine distribution
HARRISBURG – The House Health Committee earlier today held a public hearing to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Wolf administration’s vaccine distribution strategy, said Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin).
“While the governor was focused on presenting his budget plan, lawmakers were focusing efforts where they should be – COVID-19 vaccine deployment,” said Kauffman. “Our No. 1 priority at this stage of the pandemic is making sure the vaccines sent to Pennsylvania are distributed quickly and efficiently to the people who want and need them.”
Kauffman noted that Pennsylvania continues to rate in the bottom fifth of states across the country when it comes to getting vaccines in the arms of people. This has led to Kauffman’s offices and many others wading through daily phone calls from scared and angry citizens who have been constantly met with changing eligibility requirements, a lack of information about where to get the vaccine and how to sign up for one.
Before the House of Representatives this week is legislation (House Bill 326
) that would direct the PA National Guard to handle deployment of the vaccine with mass vaccination sites set up in all 67 counties across the state. Kauffman is a co-sponsor of the legislation, which is poised to be voted on in the House this week before being sent to the state Senate.
“The governor has yet to consult with the General Assembly on anything he is doing in terms of the handling of the pandemic,” said Kauffman. “We have already witnessed the destruction his decisions have had on the state economy and our small business community, not to mention our schools; we cannot afford a failure when it comes to vaccine distribution as well.
“The National Guard has the manpower and logistics to carry out an effective vaccine distribution plan,” continued Kauffman. “The Guard is doing this same thing in many other states with great success. They are a valuable resource we need to use to meet this particular challenge.”
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman