HARRISBURG >> The PA Department of Health and legislative vaccine task force announced on March 31 that they will distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine directly to the Bucks County Department of Health.
The Bucks County Republican Delegation in the House of Representatives, including Reps. Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro), Craig Staats (R-Quakertown), Todd Polinchock (R-Chalfont), KC Tomlinson (R-Bensalem), Frank Farry (R-Langhorne), Meghan Schroeder (R-Warminster) and Shelby Labs (R-Doylestown) believe this important step will ensure residents of Bucks County receive the vaccine in a more timely and efficient manner.
Southeastern Pennsylvania has been at the epicenter of the debate surrounding local control of the vaccine distribution in Pennsylvania, and that has led to legislation such as House Bill 63 sponsored by Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester) to provide a more effective model for the vaccine rollout. This bill features an amendment authored by Schroeder, which would allow the southeastern Pennsylvanian counties to have sole authority to operate mass vaccination sites, using preexisting local resources and knowledge, without interference from the state.
“I have been advocating for additional local control of the vaccine distribution since this rollout began,” Schroeder commented. “I introduced my amendment to House Bill 63 with this in mind and I’m pleased that the administration and the legislative task force has made this announcement.”
Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) introduced legislation earlier this month to base vaccine distribution by county population. “The goal is to get shots to people who need them as quickly and efficiently as possible” stated Farry.
In a joint statement, the Bucks County Republican Delegation said it "supports the efforts of our local health department and local elected officials as they have the resources to best accomplish this task. The infrastructure is in place, the only thing that is needed is more vaccines. The Southeast Republican Delegation has been in favor of putting our local county health experts in the driver’s seat of this operation for months and are encouraged by this distribution update."