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McNeill introduces statewide vaccine registration

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, has signed on to legislation (House Bill 633) that would allow patients to register themselves and their families for the COVID-19 vaccine via a statewide database of available appointments.

“It’s time that we do something that will end the frustration and better streamline the vaccine distribution effort,” McNeill, a co-sponsor of the bill, said. “I’ve heard from so many people who either don’t have a computer or who begin the registration process only to reach the end and have that initial appointment gone. In some cases, people are getting up in the middle of the night to try and make appointments for themselves, or friends and family without the technology.”

Introduced by Reps. Ryan Bizzarro and Pam Snyder, the legislation would allow couples to register for a vaccination appointment at the same time, add any risk categories such as smoking or pre-existing medical conditions, a note for first responder or essential worker status, and how far the individual is willing to travel to secure a vaccine.

McNeill explained that vaccine providers would then have to register to access this database and give priority to these patients in making appointments available for vaccines.

“People are so desperate to get vaccinated now that there is a supply issue adding another wrinkle, they’re driving hours away from their homes,” said McNeill. “And sadly, many senior couples haven’t been able to schedule appointments together, on the same day, or even in the same location. This is simply unacceptable.”

This bill was referred to the House Health Committee Feb. 24.