HARRISBURG – The governor today signed into law legislation authored by Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) that will have the Pennsylvania National Guard assist with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the Commonwealth.
“The quick timeline of this bill from introduction to becoming law is testament to the acknowledgment by all parties that we must do better at getting shot in arms, and the National Guard has the expertise in logistics to accomplish this mission,” O’Neal said. “The number of vaccines the Commonwealth receives will be increasing exponentially in the coming weeks, especially with the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With this new law, I am confident we are now in a better position to vaccinate the Commonwealth’s residents in a more orderly and accelerated pace.”
Within 45 days of today, the law requires the National Guard to 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, the governor must submit to the General Assembly a report outlining how the National Guard has been integrated into the state’s vaccine plan. This includes 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 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