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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2021 10:52 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola and Sen. Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Expanding the Scope of Authorized Individuals to Provide Injections/Vaccinations During an Emergency Declaration
Several Covid Vaccines are now available and Pennsylvania needs to be at the forefront of delivering the vaccinations across the Commonwealth.  As a legislature, we need to do our part and remove regulatory hurdles to make the delivery of this vaccine as efficient as possible.  One way we can do that is to make certain we are using all available individuals to help vaccinate people.  While the current guidelines for vaccinations have been running without any major issues, the ability for legally permitted individuals to provide vaccinations to individuals will be very stressed as the rollout continues and demand increases.  We need to be ahead of the curve and not behind it.  With this in mind, we plan to offer legislation which, during a disaster emergency declaration, would permit a wider scope of individuals with the legal authority and protections under law to provide individuals with vaccinations or injections.  This provision would include but not be limited to, nurse aides, LPNs, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students, nursing students, EMT’s/certified medical first responders, dentists, dental students, medical school students, and veterinarians.  Individuals under this section would be required to complete a cursory instruction on the specific vaccine being distributed, identifying issues and reactions and would also be under the supervision of a pharmacist, registered nurse or physician authorized under statute to normally provide injections to patients.
Federal laws, specifically the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006, provided for a response structure to be in place, and Pennsylvania's compliance is the establishment of the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers (SERVPA) within the Department of Health.

While we understand that the Department of Health has a plan with volunteers already signed up with SERVPA consisting of primarily pharmacy students to assist pharmacies with the roll out of the vaccination, we also feel that it is important to provide the scope and authority of other willing and very capable individuals to take up this call to action and to help our state, the nation and the world get through this pandemic.  Please join us in sponsoring this initiative.

Note: this is a recirculation of the memo from Jan. 4, 2021, which has been withdrawn.

Introduced as SB285