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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 15, 2021 05:33 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks and Sen. Amanda M. Cappelletti
To: All Senate members
Subject: Vaccine Allocation for Local Pharmacies
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation that will require the Department of Health to include local pharmacies in the commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
As of this week, the Wolf Administration has announced that all Pennsylvanians are now eligible to schedule appointments and to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. While the demand yet again increases, the number of vaccine providers administering the vaccines remains limited. Our approach must be one that ensures hard to reach populations have access to vaccines and to address vaccine hesitancy. Local pharmacies are best suited to handle this matter.
Local pharmacists, family-owned, independent, small businesses, and even many of them rural, stepped up in the early weeks and months of the vaccine distribution to serve their local communities.  These pharmacies worked tirelessly to change their processes, their staffing, and their business models to keep up with the demand and the needs outlined by the administration. Despite all these efforts, vaccine shipments continue to be withheld from them and their patients and local residents who trust and rely on them.
Our legislation would require that, in each of the 66 counties under the Department of Health’s jurisdiction, a minimum of at least two local pharmacies be included in the vaccine distribution process at all times. These pharmacies will be required to meet the orders upheld by the Secretary of Health. In the event that a county has only one available pharmacy to serve in this capacity, that will be acceptable under the requirements of this Act.
Please join us in supporting the efforts of our local pharmacies to vaccinate Pennsylvanians.

Introduced as SB620