HomeBensalem TimesSoutheast Republicans announce additional vaccination sites coming to counties

Southeast Republicans announce additional vaccination sites coming to counties

Using a portion of weekly Johnson & Johnson allotments, counties will establish vaccination clinics

The Southeast Pennsylvania Republican House and Senate delegation recently applauded the Pennsylvania Health Department for taking steps to bring more vaccines to Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties by setting up new vaccination sites through their county governments or local health departments, and streamlining the appointment system.

“We are pleased the state Health Department listened to our concerns and acted to create new vaccine sites run through our counties and local health departments and to get the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine into the arms of our residents,” they said in a statement. “But we remain committed to making sure the state follows through and the southeast gets its fair share of the vaccines.”

The administration recently announced key reforms to the vaccination system as advocated by the Southeast House and Senate members, including Reps. Frank Farry (R-Langhorne), Martina White (R-Philadelphia), Meghan Schroeder (R-Warminster), Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro), Tracy Pennycuick (R-Gilbertsville), Craig Staats (R-Quakertown), KC Tomlinson (R-Bensalem), Shelby Labs (R-Doylestown), Todd Polinchock (R-Chalfont), Tim Hennessey (R-Pottstown), Chris Quinn (R-Media), Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford), and Sens. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) and Robert Mensch (R-Montgomery).

Using a portion of the weekly allocation of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, counties will establish regional or mass vaccination clinics, community vaccination clinics, mobile clinics or other strategies to vaccinate their region’s currently eligible individuals.

“By working through the counties, the vaccines will be delivered to the people who need it most by the county officials who know their communities best,” the members said. “Through these regional vaccination clinics, seniors who have been struggling to get vaccinated will get greater access to available doses, and communities will be able to direct doses to their most vulnerable residents.”

The Secretary of Health will be issuing an order that will require vaccine providers to schedule all 1A appointments by the end of the month.

“This will also allow the counties to schedule vaccinations through one portal. People will then be able to get a date and time for their shot when they sign up,” the members said.

Additionally, frontline workers and first responders will be targeted using a portion of J&J doses. Targeted industries include law enforcement/correctional staff, grocery workers, firefighters (both career and volunteer), meat processing and agriculture workers.

State officials also said they would provide greater visibility into their future allocations to allow counties to schedule appointments with confidence in having sufficient supply to keep those appointments.

Gov. Tom Wolf said the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is still working through the details of these next special initiatives and will announce more information before additional Johnson & Johnson allocations become available on March 28.

“We will have work to do to get the infrastructure in place to vaccinate these populations, which is why we’re starting the process now,” he said. “We should all be excited about the fact that our vaccine allocations are increasing.”

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