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Houlahan, Dean, Scanlon, Wild Call For A Better Vaccine Plan In PA

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5) and Susan Wild (PA-7) urged Governor Tom Wolf to review the current vaccination distribution plan, improve upon its weakness, and start thinking about the rollout for the 1B population now.

“We ask that you and your team begin the process of planning for 1B vaccination now, in parallel with continuing to improve and augment the 1A rollout, so that teachers and other frontline workers can have more certainty about how and when they will be able to be vaccinated,” wrote the Pennsylvania lawmakers. “We encourage you to ensure that representatives from these essential worker groups have a seat at the table for all planning, so that they can communicate directly with your team about what approaches will work best for them, and as a result for our children and families.”

They also advocated for a more expedient vaccine timeline for Pennsylvania teachers – “Our educators and school staff are dedicated to providing high-quality instruction to our students during this difficult time. Expediting educators’ timeline for vaccine eligibility will enable them to better plan for their future curriculum and support their students’ learning. Getting our children safely back into the classroom would have myriad benefits – not only alleviating many pressures on working families and allowing people to return to work but also beginning to reverse the toll that the pandemic has taken on students’ educational outcomes and mental health.”

The members of Congress also asked Governor Wolf to “explore adopting best practices from other states and jurisdictions that might speed up vaccine deployment. This could include utilizing the National Guard – with their strong capacity for logistics – or working with the Federal government to open mass vaccination opportunities as more doses become available.”

The Pennsylvanian members also reaffirmed that they will “continue to advocate for additional Federal funding for Pennsylvania as well as an increased allocation of vaccines, and we stand ready to work with you in any way we can to accelerate vaccine deployment to both the 1A and 1B populations.”

Full text of the letter can be found below and here.