To say the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan has been abysmal is a severe understatement. The inconsistencies in communication, logistics and supply chain distribution have had a detrimental impact on our citizens across Pennsylvania. The mismanagement of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan has ranked our Commonwealth the 43rd state out of 50 in the distribution and administration of these critical vaccines. The lack of clarity and consistency regarding the implementation of this plan from the Wolf administration is inexcusable.
Instead of taking responsibility, Gov. Tom Wolf passes blame to the state Legislature and to the federal government, telling the public to look elsewhere for answers, instead of providing the real time data and facts. A waitlist is not practical when we know there are not enough vaccines available to cover a subset of our population. The established phase plan has not been followed, causing disruptions in who can receive a vaccine and those who must wait. Our most vulnerable populations, including older adults, have experienced additional barriers to getting the vaccine due to inaccessibility of transportation and computer use. It is truly disappointing and frustrating to not be able to provide tangible solutions and answers to our community members.
While I recognize there are numerous challenges around the COVID-19 vaccine plan and that the issues are multifaceted, it is clear that more needs to be done. Each day my office receives dozens of phone calls and email inquiries, like many of my colleagues, from people begging and pleading with my staff to help identify when and how they can get a vaccine. The Pennsylvania Department of Health website provides some information; however, a few identified locations on the website do not and have never provided COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
The administration is doing a disservice to our constituents by not getting the vaccines to the designated locations that have the staff and resources prepared and ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccines. I implore the governor, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the local health offices and community partners to work together and administer the vaccines efficiently, safely and effectively to Pennsylvanians.
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner