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State representatives introduce vaccine registration legislation

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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A new piece of legislation introduced by several Pennsylvania State Representatives would create a database of people eligible and willing to accept the COVID-19 vaccine and allow them to schedule appointments.

According to a press release, the Vaccine Registry Act, introduced by Democratic Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pam Snyder, Jennifer O’Mara, and Austin Davis, is meant to “streamline the registration and notification process” for those looking to get vaccinated.

In addition to the creation of a database, the legislation would also allow residents to schedule vaccine appointments for themselves, their spouses or significant others, and their families. Those that register may also provide evidence of risk status and proof of eligibility and make note of how far they are willing to travel to be vaccinated.

“We cannot flounder any longer without a plan which allows people to easily register for vaccine access for themselves and their families, the frustration is real and growing and we cannot wait any longer. I look forward to working with the Department of Health and Governor Tom Wolf on this creative solution for a centralized system that recognizes the independence of our providers,” said Bizzarro, D-Erie, and chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee in a statement.

According to the legislation, vaccine providers would be required to commit to accessing the registry and prioritizing registrants for scheduling appointments.

“There are more than 1,700 providers statewide and the creation of a database would allow residents to register one time and then be alerted of an available vaccination appointment,” Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said. “This would alleviate the frustration and challenge of checking for appointments at multiple providers across multiple locations.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health would be tasked with establishing and maintaining the database as well as providing access to providers who register to access the registry. Providers would need to register to receive vaccines for distribution and priority access would be given to patients who register through the state-managed registry.

The measure will likely be referred to the House Health Committee.

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