HARRISBURG – The Senate today approved legislation authored by Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) that would have the Pennsylvania National Guard assist with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the Commonwealth.
“I’m pleased my Senate colleagues agreed on the importance of this legislation and quickly passed it in order for the Commonwealth to improve its rate of getting COVID-19 shots in arms,” O’Neal said. “As a former guardsman, I have seen firsthand the capabilities our military has to deploy millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and thousands of people across the world in a timely and efficient manner. There is no reason why the guard cannot use its logistical expertise at home with the COVID-19 vaccine efforts.”
House Bill 326
would have the National Guard within 45 days of the bill becoming law coordinate with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to develop plans to establish and operate COVID-19 vaccination sites across the Commonwealth. Furthermore, within 45 days of the bill becoming law, the governor would submit to the General Assembly a report outlining how the National Guard has been integrated into the state’s vaccine plan. This would include the availability and capacity of guard units for vaccinations and deployment to skilled nursing facilities to combat outbreaks, current and anticipated allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, and federal guidance on use of the guard for vaccination efforts.
The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for his consideration.
The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.
Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick