Harrisburg, Pa. – February 19, 2021 — Senator Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks, Caucus Secretary), along with Sens. Lindsey Williams, Katie Muth and Amanda Cappelletti, introduced a bill memo for circulation earlier this week calling for a statewide “COVID-19 Vaccine Registry.” For many weeks, Pennsylvanians have been calling for improvements to the state’s COVID vaccine registration and distribution systems, asking for more transparency, oversight and ease of use. The bulk of complaints are about the burdensome, confusing and seemingly inequitable process by which folks have to – on their own – track down an ever-changing, hard-to-find number of registration and appointment lists; and each list has different requirements, different glitches, different times and days of the week during which it is best to call or email, and requires different levels of tech savvy. The legislation being drafted for this “COVID-19 Vaccine Registry” will address this problem by establishing a single coordinated registration system for patients and providers. There is a companion bill memo, “Covid 19 Vaccine Registry” sponsored by Reps. Bizzarro, Snyder, O’Mara, and A. Davis, in the House of Representatives.
“As the Democratic Chair of the Aging & Youth Committee and a nurse experienced in caring for older Pennsylvanians, I am especially attuned to the burden the current registration and appointment sign-up processes are placing on older Pennsylvanians and their loved ones,” said Senator Collett. “This is highly inefficient and is slowing down the vaccine distribution timetable for all Pennsylvanians, who have already sacrificed and struggled so much during the COVID crisis. I encourage you to call your legislators and ask them to sign on to this legislation or its companion in the House.”
In addition to introducing legislation, Senator Collett has continued to raise the concerns of her constituents with the Department of Health and call for urgent and substantial changes to the vaccine rollout processes. On Wednesday February 17, Senator Collett sent a letter to Acting Secretary Beam asking the Department “to implement improvements that will restore the Commonwealth’s vaccine administration efforts to prevent being further overwhelmed when national partners are able to amplify production and distribution” and demanding “bigger changes to the systems” on behalf of her constituents and all Pennsylvanians. This letter follows her and her colleagues’ February 9, February 12 and February 16 letters, her questioning during the February 4th Joint Hearing of the Senate Aging & Youth and Health & Human Services Committees, and conversations with the Department of Health and members of the Wolf Administration.